Two high-ranking Ukrainian government officials have been found to have misappropriated $1.6 million in funds, amid a growing corruption scandal surrounding how government money is being used in the country.
Taras Vysotskyi, the first Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, and an unnamed former deputy minister of the economy were found to have misused about $1.68 million in government money.
Vysotskyi reportedly took advantage of the Ukrainian railway company Ukrzalinznytsia, according to anti-corruption officials.
The news comes as Ukraine continues to fight against corrupt officials.
“From March to August 2022, Ukrzaliznytsia overpaid companies participating in the scheme UAH 22.7 million [$610,000]. Having been received, the funds were transferred to a foreign company with signs of fictitiousness for further legalization,” the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) said in a press release Friday.
“Draft records outlining the distribution of the ill-gotten gains were discovered during a search at a scheme participant’s place,” NABU said.
“He was aware of the actual market value of the products, as he regularly received relevant data from the state statistical service.”
In August, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fired all regional military recruitment heads after one officer, Yevhen Borisov, was found to have up to $5 million in assets hidden in his mother’s name, Spain.
One hundred twelve criminal cases were also opened against military enlistment offices, with Zelensky claiming some evidence that “some took cash, some took cryptocurrency” in exchange for helping men avoid being sent to war.
Earlier this year, Rep. Matt Gaetz introduced a resolution in the House that calls for the end of U.S. military and financial aid to Ukraine.
Gaetz and ten co-sponsors introduced the “Ukraine Fatigue Resolution,” which calls for the U.S. to “end its military and financial aid to Ukraine and urges all combatants to reach a peace agreement.”