Ukrainian defence officials and corporate leaders sought to steal about $40 million through a fraudulent arms procurement scheme, the country's main intelligence and security agency said Saturday.
They come as Republicans in the United States resist President Joe Biden's efforts to send more aid to Ukraine, and as former president Donald Trump, who has spoken out against US military support for Kyiv, appears to be on a glide path to the Republican nomination.
Ukraine's SBU security service said that current and former senior officials of the defence ministry and heads of affiliated companies "attempted to steal almost UAH 1.5 billion ($40 million) from the budget by purchasing 100,000 mortar rounds for the Armed Forces."
They allegedly signed a contract to buy the shells from the arms supplier Lviv Arsenal in August 2022, after which the defence ministry "transferred the full amount stipulated in the signed document to the company's accounts".
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