Farewell to “Ukroboronprom”

The new head of the concern announced its liquidation

The Ukrainian authorities decided to put an end to the state concern Ukroboronprom under the noble pretext of reform. According to the company’s Director-General Yury Gusev, the concern will order a long life in 2021.

“It is planned that next year ‘Ukroboronprom’ will cease to exist. New holding companies will be created that will work according to the principles of corporate governance and transparency to ensure that any corruption or other risks are avoided,” Gusev said at a press conference on December 3rd.

Previously, out of 137 enterprises that are still struggling to survive (most of them without orders and with debts to pay salaries to employees), 65 plants will be left, and the rest will be closed. As for the “lucky ones”, they will be distributed to the sales offices of the remaining Ukrainian strategic property, the so-called holdings with “minimal interference in their economic activities”.

For example, it is planned to create a holding company named “Defence systems of Ukraine” (aircraft repair, armoured vehicles, ammunition, marine systems, etc.) and an aerospace holding company (aviation, engines, etc.). And tellingly, each holding will have its own supervisory board, consisting mainly of foreign gurus on high salaries. In other words, the previously sent Cossacks grazed in the same supervisory board, and with the reform there will be much more places at the trough for new “specialists”. All of this does not interfere with stuffing Ukrainian citizens with fresh promises of industrial achievements that will literally cover the country, just given them time.

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Moreover, the main priority, as Gusev said, is to provide the Ukrainian army with high-quality and modern weapons. They say that the holdings will still show what they are capable of. And foreign customers will line up in a long queue for Ukrainian “Oplot”, “Neptun”, “Olkha”, armoured personnel carriers (components for them in the form of a tracked belt, however, are proudly ordered through the NATO agency for support and procurement for the needs of the UAF), engines and radar systems.

And so that the people are not disturbed by the upcoming reform, today the Security Service of Ukraine organised a demonstrative search in the premises of the concern and the company “UkrSpetsEksport”. They are looking, as usual, for financial violations in order to bring to light all the corrupt officials of this hotbed, so that the population can understand why it is necessary to destroy a strategic company, and then put military factories under the hammer, etc.

And how can we not marvel at the cynicism and impudence of the Kiev organisers of this performance. Moreover, a good cherry on the cake was Gusev himself, a character with a dark past. It is known that this gentleman has a lot of corruption schemes. Back in 2012-2013, working under the head of the State Agency for Investment and National Project Management Vladimir Kaskiv, he became famous together with the head for the scandal with the fictitious construction of a LNG terminal in the Odessa region to get gas “20% cheaper than the Russian one”. These dealers signed an agreement with a Spanish construction company, but, as it turned out, the company did not approve anything, and a signature was added by ski instructor Jordi Sarda Bonvehi. It is clear that this Spaniard had nothing to do with the construction company. The funds that were allocated by the government, disappeared in a miraculous way. Then Gusev found more than once an excellent use for his talent as a schemer. And Maidan helped him. Gusev, who, moreover, was prevented from sleeping peacefully by the threat of an audit, could not fail to support the new springboard for the start, especially since he was hanging out in the leadership centre of the Catholic University (where Maidan activists were churned out).

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In 2014, he headed the “volunteer landing force” in the Ministry of Defence, which was supposed to exercise “civilian control” over the Ministry’s expenditures and purchases. Here Gusev sat down as head of the economic activity department, and then as Deputy Minister of Defence: he was engaged in reforming the department.

And everything would’ve been fine if an unrestrained craving for theft hadn’t acted as an obstacle this time too. In 2016, he was driven out with a fuss. The fact is that the tender committee under his control purchased gasoline for the needs of the UAF through intermediaries at an unreasonably high price. The fraudster also distinguished himself in the scandal with the purchase of housing for military personnel. Thus, 1 billion 140 million hryvnias were allocated for the purchase of 2000 apartments. But only 75 apartments were bought for the amount of 119 million, and it is not difficult to guess where the surplus went. Gusev’s list of scams, including joint operations with the country’s enterprising President, Poroshenko, can go on for a long time. At the same time, the unsinkable character did not fade into the background. During the presidential campaign, he first supported his patron with might and main, stigmatising Vladimir Zelensky, but he changed his political orientation just in time. After clearing his Facebook page of eulogies about the ghoul, he defected to the camp of the newly elected head of state.

And there Gusev was appointed head of the Kherson region. And everything took off from there – numerous corruption scandals, the creation of a “service for happiness and improving the quality of life” (this is only possible in the advanced state of Bhutan). It is clear that Gusev’s brainchild did not exist for a long time, but it fulfilled its function and made the governor financially happy. As we know, a generous sum was allocated for the service, special positions of “managers of happiness” were created, etc.

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In other words, this young man, who was sent from the governors to the liquidators of a powerful state concern, is still knavish. Zelensky’s colleagues knew who to entrust an important task to. The main thing is that the curators like it: the magic word “reforms” is the most frequent in Gusev’s vocabulary, and his education is suitable: he studied programs at Harvard Kennedy School in 2011 and 2017.

Anna Ponomareva

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