Iraqi military inspect the cracks in the armored hull of an armored personnel carrier BTR-4 delivered to Iraq as part of the second batch of these vehicles in October 2012 of the year (c) Mirror of the Week. Ukraine / gazeta.zn.ua
Almost a year and two months have passed since the date of the last publication on the pages of ZN.UA about the vicissitudes around the so-called Iraqi contract for the supply of Ukrainian armored personnel carriers to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. It took exactly this time for the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine to at least somehow respond to the problematic issues of this transaction and, in conditions of "deep" secrecy, open criminal proceedings on the fact of concluding a foreign economic contract that was obviously unfavorable for Ukraine.
Who took the cashier?
Is the General Prosecutor’s Office able to understand the global lies of both officials and special exporters involved in the catastrophic failure of one of the largest contracts in stories exports weapons from Ukraine?
We must be naive to hope for an objective investigation in such a delicate area as the export of weapons. It's no secret who earns money in Ukraine on these deals! And the question to be studied can only be put in one plane: “How many have not been informed?”.
It is likely that the command to the prosecutors was given only after it became clear that both commission fees and marketing funds, which account for almost a third of the total contract value, flew past the well-known cash desk (data from the minutes of the US court session in San Antonio held last September).
The people who lived on the Iraqi contract are known. Some of them have long left us and warm their mortal bodies on the azure shores of the Mediterranean. Some have returned to their promised land and are promoting Russian-made weapons to foreign markets. Their souls are warmly enough large sums listed on offshore accounts of foreign companies.
For law enforcement agencies, let me remind you the names of these companies: Singaporean UST-Tech Consulting, registered in the British Virgin Islands Hectorian Services, British Lanefield Exports, owned by companies from Belize Milltown Corporate Services and Ireland & Overseas Acquisition. By the way, if anyone remembers the scandal with the supply of Ukrainian armored vehicles to Kenya (and according to our sources in the special services - to South Sudan), connected with the seizure of the Faina ship, then these companies also appeared well there. Ukrainian officials at the time were spreading the legend about the legal supply of weapons to Kenya.
Another part of the commission from the Iraqi contract "swam away" to the delaware company Universal Investment Group (UIG). According to the transcript of the court session I mentioned in the USA, it was from the accounts of this company that the money was transferred to Ukrainian “lobbyists”.
The most "vividly" situation around the Iraqi contract began to develop with the arrival of D. Salamatin, who later became head of the Ukroboronprom concern, to the state-owned Ukrspetsexport company. Having moved to the chair of the Minister of Defense, Dmitry Albertovich did not forget at the same time his closest associate, D.Peregudov, who also had time to fruitfully guide these companies.
The question is still open: why did D. Salamatin suddenly take the sole decision to liquidate the main holder of the contract with Iraq, a subsidiary of Ukrspetsexport of the foreign trade company Progress? After all, it is clear that this event marked the beginning of the disruption of the Ukrainian-Iraqi deal worth 500 million dollars. It was with the arrival of D. Salamatin to the post of head of the main Ukrainian special exporter and his ridiculous steps that the Russian arms barons began actively sensing the possibility of supplying Russian weapons to Iraq. One can only guess what dividends from our Russian "friends" such a figure could get, which led to a fatal deal beneficial to Ukraine.
Come on stall!
Problems with the contract began with the failure of the first delivery of 26 combat vehicles sent by the Iraqi Defense Ministry with an almost six-month delay.
The second batch of armored personnel carriers in the number of 62 units was delivered to the customer one and a half years later - in November of 2012. The victorious reports of D.Peregudov and D.Salamatin himself, who, on the eve of sending this party, diligently informed V. Yanukovych how he “dispelled the clouds over the contract”, and in fact simply “divorced” the president, were very well remembered about this.
In the same way, it was possible to “dissolve” the head of the government, who issued a letter with commitments that guaranteed the fulfillment by the Progress of this foreign economic agreement by the government of Ukraine, as well as the corresponding compensation to the Iraq Defense Ministry in case of its breakdown.
As they say in the "Ukroboronprom", that cracks appeared in the armor of this batch of armored personnel carriers, the company did not say just lazy. I have no doubt that, informing the president about the resolution of problematic issues and receiving a guarantee from the government, would-be heads of state-owned companies knew about the cracks in the armor. Of course, it is necessary to thoroughly investigate the question of which of the officials of Ukroboronprom and Ukrspetsexport, despite the identified defects, instructed to send the batch with defects to the customer.
It is also very interesting how and why the Minister of Defense D. Salamatin signed an order on the adoption of this type of military equipment with numerous defects and flaws in the weapons of the Ukrainian army. By the way, the General Prosecutor's Office, which, as it became recently known from prosecutors, has opened criminal proceedings on the fact of abuse of authority by officials of the Ministry of Defense, has already thought about this.
Did the Iraqi military know that there were cracks in the armor of this batch of equipment? I think they knew, but, quite possibly, they relied on very "weighty arguments."
According to the old Ukrainian tradition, after the arrival of the vehicle at the military base in Taji, the figures from Ukrspecexport were forgotten about the transfer of “weighty arguments” to the interested Iraqi military. It was after this that the Iraqi military began to "actively" identify cracks in the armor (see photo).
Information about problems with armor began to arrive in Ukraine at the end of last year through the Gosexportcontrol, and the special services timidly hinted at the occurrence of problems in the execution of the Iraqi contract.
To date, almost 80% of combat vehicles can not be operated according to their technical condition.
Let me remind you that D.Peregudov almost until his dismissal in July 2013 was diligently patrolling between Kiev and Baghdad, assuring everyone that the Iraqi side was about to sign, whether it had already signed a supplement to extend the contract and agree on a new schedule for the supply of equipment. Why and who needed this lie? There may be several versions, but they all boil down to one thing - to evade responsibility for their actions, which led to the breakdown of a half-billion foreign trade contract.
At the same time, neither the government nor the presidential administration possessed objective information about the deplorable situation related to the fulfillment by Ukraine of its obligations.
As for Ukroboronprom, which, by the way, since June 2012 was already led by S. Gromov, he most likely knew about numerous defects of armor reliably, but he concealed this information.
Undoubtedly, measures to normalize the situation around the Ukrainian-Iraqi contract had to be started last year, and the results would not be so pitiable for the Ukrainian side today.
Naturally, S.Gromov along with D.Salamatinin and D.Peregudov should share responsibility for their irresponsibility.
On the role of S.Gromov in the breakdown of the contract is worth mentioning separately. It is enough to analyze the trips of the head of Ukroboronprom to Iraq. Yes, however, and the analysis is not necessary. Even the number of fingers on one hand looks like a huge number. The recent visit of the Ukrainian delegation headed by Deputy Minister of Defense A. Babenko was especially memorable. As for the valiant deputy minister, so for S.Gromov he is possibly the first and the last. Probably, the head of Ukroboronprom did not understand that he had to spend the night and spend the night in Iraq. And rush to the American mediator, who was "thrown" by Salamatin and Peregudov, and at least try to persuade him to cooperate.
But even during this visit, the Ukrainian delegation managed to distinguish itself. Representatives of Ukraine "amicably" waved to Iraq during the Muslim holiday of the whole world Kurban Bayram. Such a dense incompetence of the leadership of the largest company in the field of the military-industrial complex of Ukraine is evidence of professional unsuitability and not otherwise.
Naturally, the results of this blitz visit tend to zero. But if S.Gromov’s tour can somehow be justified, then what Deputy P.Lebedeva Arturo Francisco was doing in Iraq is not at all understandable. Is that the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense wants to share responsibility for the failure of the contract with "Ukroboronprom".
The situation is even worse today with the delivery to Iraq of a third batch of 40 armored personnel carriers, dangling from neutral ships from the port of Um Qasr since February of this year. Ukroboronprom is held hostage by the Singapore ship SE PACIFICA and its crew, abandoned, in fact, to the mercy of fate. Ukrspetsexport, which has chartered a ship, will cost it in a simple way, one can only guess. The only thing is that neither S.Gromov nor his associates pay this money from their own pocket, but in vain!
Moreover, the hotheads in Ukroboronprom thought in a peculiar way to solve the problem - to transfer military equipment to another ship directly in the open sea. Fair wind!
"Seasickness" greatly influenced the state of armored vehicles. All the tires have fallen into disrepair, the batteries have long been oxidized, the hull has become rusty. To restore this technique will need a lot of money. Only according to approximate estimates, without taking into account the repair of buildings, the restoration of this batch of equipment can result in additional costs ranging from 20 to 30% of its cost.
What to do?
The fact that the Ukrainian-Iraqi contract is broken is an open secret. The weekly informed the readers about it last summer. UkrSpetsExport and Ukroboronprom knew about this, but for what purpose did the president and the government misinform?
Moreover, the Ukrainian Embassy in Iraq, however, was very late, but still informed the Prime Minister that Acting Minister of Defense S.Al-Duleimi asks N. Azarov, taking into account the guarantee letter of the government, to personally intervene with the performance of the contract. He points to the lack of progress in negotiations with the leadership of the Ukrainian special exporter regarding the resolution of problematic issues and requests that direct orders from the Ukrspetsexport House of Culture stop the implementation of the current contract, limiting it to the number of equipment already supplied by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.
Nevertheless, it should be noted the tolerant position of the Iraqi side, which so far refrains from filing a claim to the Arbitration Court of the City of Geneva in Switzerland, which is stipulated by the foreign economic agreement. This allows us to hope that the failure of the Ukroboronprom enterprises to fulfill their contractual obligations will not have a very negative impact on Ukrainian-Iraqi relations.
The best option for our country would be the opportunity to continue to supply military equipment to Iraq, but for this we need to solve the problem of repairing defective armor. And if our repair teams cannot do this on the spot, we must return the equipment to Ukraine and replace the cracked hulls.
The question in this case is only one: what is the cost part? The fact that these funds are estimated in millions of dollars, no one expert doubts. And the most important thing is that the entire cost part will be compensated not at the expense of Ukroboronprom and its enterprises, but at the expense of ordinary taxpayers. This is how the question is posed not only in the concern, but even by people's deputies who believe that the state should fulfill the obligations of our weapon-unfortunate merchants.
As they say in Ukroboronprom, repair of armored personnel carriers by Ukrainian specialists directly in Iraq could amount to almost $ 9 million. If, on the other hand, the entire batch is returned and the cases are replaced and repaired under factory conditions, this amount can be tripled and amount to 25 – 27 million dollars.
At the initiative of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security and Defense at the end of October this year. A meeting was held with the leadership of the concern "Ukroboronprom" and the state enterprise "Plant them. Malyshev."
The deputies were so “razduharilas” that they began to criticize the “government structures” that did not fulfill the instructions of the president and the prime minister “regarding the improvement of the functioning and organization of the management of the defense industries”. At the same time, they somehow forgot that for this, by presidential decree, some surrogate management education was created in the military-industrial complex, which bears full responsibility for the critical state of foreign economic contracts, the crisis of defense enterprises, non-payment of salaries.
I was even more pleased with the appeal of one of the people's deputies to N. Azarov, where it was emphasized that the working capital was actually washed at the enterprises of Ukroboronprom (text on the website). It is a pity that the representatives of the legislative body did not ask S. Gromov: where did these very circulating assets go? Or, for example, why is it necessary for months to coordinate this issue with the concern's apparatus for the purchase of even toilet paper at enterprises? Or why the public procurement sphere has become a very profitable business for the security department of Ukroboronprom? Why do you need to buy components from companies and firms that are strongly recommended by the concern?
Against the background of triumphant reports by Ukroboronprom in the press about improving the performance of the concern’s enterprises, including extraordinary achievements in arms exports, the information about the catastrophic situation with foreign economic contracts, made public during the above-mentioned meeting with people's deputies, is puzzling. So maybe it’s not at all necessary for the government to issue state guarantees to the concern to finance export deliveries? All the more, probably, there is no need to provide financial assistance to defense enterprises?
By the way, "Ukroboronprom" requires the provision of such guarantees in the amount of 1,7 billion UAH in the current year. At the same time, the situation with the break of the export contract with Iraq is somehow silent. Or should the government also issue guarantees for the implementation of a broken contract?
It is a pity that so far no one has figured out who gets royalties for using the brand of armor for the manufacture of these armored personnel carriers.
And why did nobody ask S.Gromov: how much of the Iraqi Defense Ministry’s advance payment was “rolled back” to intermediaries? This amount would be enough to organize the replacement of most of the defective corps of armored personnel carriers delivered to Iraq.
A series of similar questions can be continued. Be sure to ask about the commission special exporters. And about the "successful" marketing, which is written off millions, which can be infused in the organization of production, and in improving the situation in enterprises. Maybe the deputies are not looking there?
About marketing and commission
Amazing metamorphosis takes place in the heads of the People’s Deputies, who, demanding financial support from the state, are absolutely not interested in the leaders of Ukroboronprom regarding who earns millions from arms sales.
A vivid illustration can be the sending to Libya of a ship with a weapon detained by the Greek coast guard as a company-member of the Ukrinmash concern. By the way, this delivery Ukrinmash realized with the help of the Turkish intermediary company.
As a result of this brilliant transaction by the Ministry of Defense, which transferred weapons to Ukrinmash for sale on the foreign market, from one of the supplies should receive almost 40 million UAH, but the persons involved in this transaction planned to receive "vershoks" in the amount of about 140 million UAH. In this situation, even the chief auditor of the Ministry of Defense Maxim Goldarb resigned, because he did not notice such a disproportion in earnings.
How such an amount of “earnings” of the mediators from the Ministry of Defense was agreed upon, it became clear in the course of a small study of this issue. It turns out that "Ukrinmash" today is headed by a certain S. Khosh, while in the Ministry of Defense, the position of adviser to the minister is held by a certain D. Khosh. At the same time, the latter, although it did not sign the contract with Ukrinmash, was even very aware of what was happening. In actual fact, it turned out that there is a blood connection between these two gentlemen.
Only here is one bad luck. The Libyan ship, detained by the Greek coast guard, suddenly suddenly sank off the Greek coast. I don’t even know if the Greeks managed to unload to the shore the armaments and armaments they had arrested, which they had declared smuggling. What will happen with this cargo is clear - it will be confiscated by Greece. The affected party in this transaction will be only Libyan merchants.
The experience of M.Goldarb did not help in revealing the corruption component in yet another contract of the Ministry of Defense with the enterprise-participant of the DP Ukroboronservis concern. In this contract, the price of ammunition is almost doubled. That is, if it is possible to get about 32 million USD, the Ministry of Defense will receive only 18 million. Who will share the rest? And this question is not the most interesting. It turns out that on the part of Ukroboronservice, this unprofitable contract for the Ministry of Defense was signed by one R. Babenko. Surname says nothing? Indeed, the name of the signatory coincides surprisingly with the name of one of the deputy secretaries of defense.
Such a family contract, it turns out, exists in the field of arms trade!
I deliberately cited these examples for gentlemen who are concerned about finding finance to support the defense industry. Virtually all transactions carried out in this area are with such a “flavor”.
Maybe you need to restrain your appetites and send illegally earned funds to the development of the defense industry and the army?