Military prosecutors in southern Ukraine have initiated a lawsuit against a contractor in the port city of Mykolaiv. The company had been entrusted to repair the frigate's diesel engine propulsion system, but the engine broke down shortly after repairs were said to have been completed. Prosecutors say the company has failed to fulfill its obligations, and to deal with the engine defects under warranty in the agreed-upon timeframe.
"Taking into account the possible negative consequences for the combat readiness of the Ukrainian Navy, and with the aim of rectifying the legal violations, the military prosecutor's office has appealed to the court with a claim for the recovery of punitive damages…in the amount of 668,000 hryvnia [$25,000 US]," a press statement on the General Prosecutor's Office said.
Asked for comment, Russian security and military expert Alexander Perendzhiev, an associate professor at the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, told Radio Sputnik that the story says a lot about the state of the Ukrainian military, and the country in general.
The expert noted that in normal practice, when a ship is accepted back into the Navy following repairs, it undergoes readiness checks, and tests to check the quality of repairs. Unfortunately, Perendzhiev added that "as we can see, in Ukraine today this concept either no longer exists, or exists only formally. I believe that this case seriously stinks of the theft of funds."
"But corruption cannot lead to anything good, particularly in the military sphere," Perendzhiev stressed. "What we are seeing here is a very vivid picture. This isn't just any ship, but the flagship of the Ukrainian Navy. If it is not ready for combat, what can be said about Ukraine's other ships?"