7 officials detained in Ukraine over embezzlement of funds for construction of wall on Russian border

In Ukraine, seven people are suspected of embezzling 16.69 million hryvnia ($642,000) allocated for the European Wall Project on the country’s eastern border. The announcement was made to media on Wednesday by Nazar Kholodnytsky, the head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAP), 112.ua reports.

"Seven people consisting of Ukrainian State Border Guard Service officials and contractor’s representatives are being detained after searches related to the investigation of the criminal case on the embezzlement of governmental funds allocated for the Ukrainian Wall project," the head of SAP said.

He said that among the detainees were the head of the Department of Resource Support of the State Border Guard Service Administration, the former head of the Capital Construction Department, and directors of a number of construction companies.

Kholodnytsky assured that by the end of the day the detainees would be charged and a preventive measure would be chosen. "We insist that they be taken into custody with the possibility of pledge," he said.

In November 2014, the government of Arseniy Yatsenyuk decided to dig a ditch and to build fortifications on the Ukrainian-Russian border. The Russia–Ukraine barrier project was called The Wall, also known as the Ukrainian-European Wall. The project itself and its budget have been repeatedly altered and the financing has been cut.

According to the head of the State Border Guard Service, Petro Tsygykal, about 500 million hryvnia or just short of $20 million will be spent on this project this year. In 2015-2016, 600 million hryvnia or just over $23 million were allocated for this purpose—about 15% of the planned amount.

  European Wall Project, Ukraine, Corruption