Ukraine war: a scandal inflated the prices of military jackets purchased from Türkiye

A scandal erupted in Ukraine after the Ministry of Defense reportedly paid a high price for an order of functionally useless vests from Turkey.

Earlier this month, the Ukrainian The media reported The ministry obtained 233,000 winter jackets, worth $20 million, from a Turkish company.

However, customs dDocuments from one shipment revealed that the cost of a group of 4,900 jackets on its way from Turkey to Ukraine tripled, rising from $142,000 to $421,000.

It was also revealed that the jackets were lightweight and not as wintery as expected.

Ukrainian journalist Yuri Nikolov, who was the first to report the scandal, said the situation was “a mess”, with autumn approaching and his country mired in conflict.

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Starting with the unpacked Türkiye

“Autumn is coming, and this is actually a mess. The Ukrainians haven’t made any jackets. So, in the summer, these guys said they’d bring us some Turkish crap.” Interview With news outlet Ukrainska Pravda.

“Large loads of cars arrived from Turkey, full of these jackets, which cost $28 when they left Turkey and $86 when they arrived. You’ve seen how these bills have changed along the way. The first bill says “camouflage jacket,” and the last one — priced at $86 — says “winter jacket.”

According to Ukrainska Pravda, the jackets were supplied by Vector Avia, a Turkish company owned by Ukrainian businessman Roman Pletnov.

Another co-owner of the company is Oleksandr Kasay, nephew of Hennadiy Kasay, member of parliament from the Servant of the People of Ukraine party and member of the Parliamentary Committee for National Security, Defense and Intelligence.

“ongoing investigation”

On August 25, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Rezhnikov said that if the allegations were proven true, he would resign.

A Ukrainian government source told Middle East Eye that the scandal “has nothing to do with Turkish companies selling expensive materials.”

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“Some Ukrainians do not use normal channels, such as embassies, to make purchases because that reduces the risk of corruption,” they said.

“In this case, there is an allegation that a company close to a member of the Ukrainian parliament bought military jackets from the Turkish company at the regular price and sold them to the Ministry of Defense at a subsidized price to make unfair profits. There is an ongoing investigation into this case.”

Turkey, a member of NATO, has managed to maintain friendly relations with both Russia and Ukraine over the past 18 months of the war, and last year helped broker a prisoner exchange.

Both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the prisoner exchange will be one of the main topics of the conversation when the latter meets with Vladimir Putin next month.

Turkey did not join its Western allies in imposing economic sanctions on Russia, but at the same time it supplied weapons to Ukraine and called for respect for its sovereignty.

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