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Ukraine said it now has a meticulous system for storing and tracking U.S.-provided munitions that the American embassy can access anytime.
Oleksandra Ustinova, a Ukrainian member of parliament who leads a commission tracking foreign military aid, told CBS News’ “60 Minutes” that serial numbers of every single piece of U.S. weaponry sent to Ukraine are in a database that the American embassy in Kyiv can view.
U.S. officials can then visit the warehouses storing the equipment to see the inventory for themselves, she said.
“They can come, type in, let’s say, a Javelin or a HIMARS and see in which brigade it is, and then go check it if they don’t believe,” Ustinova said.
The member of parliament showed “60 Minutes” a video of her in what she said was a top-secret warehouse storing Javelins from the United States.
Ustinova’s comments come after Military.com published an article in July about a Pentagon report that highlighted how a Russian-led criminal ring in Ukraine was able to steal weapons sent to Kyiv for the war.
The stolen weapons included a grenade launcher and a machine gun, and were taken by Russians who had joined a volunteer battalion, per the outlet.
The Pentagon report, dated October 6, 2022, said the theft occurred in June 2022, per CNN.
This Pentagon report didn’t explicitly say that the stolen weapons were American. But it detailed several such incidents in a section discussing Ukraine’s methods of tracking US weapons, CNN reported.
In August 2022, a group of volunteer battalion members also stole 60 rifles and nearly 1,000 rounds of ammunition “presumably for sale on the black market,” CNN reported, citing the Pentagon documents.
Another highlighted incident involved $17,000 worth of bulletproof vests being stolen by Ukrainian criminals pretending to be aid workers, per CNN.
These plots were eventually foiled or disrupted by Ukraine’s intelligence services, and the equipment was recovered, the Pentagon report said, per CNN.
Ustinova, who for years was an anti-corruption activist before she became a lawmaker, told CBS News that Ukraine needed to cleanse itself of corruption.
“We have to get rid of this cancer, which is corruption because otherwise, we’re not gonna survive,” she said to the channel.
The channel’s report was a wide-ranging segment on how the billions of dollars in US aid to Ukraine are used in the country, and how American and Ukrainian lawmakers seek to ensure they’re appropriately used to fund the war effort.
The U.S. has committed more than $43.8 billion in security assistance and military aid to Ukraine since the start of the war, reported Insider’s Charles Davis.
As of December, the equipment sent to Ukraine includes advanced HIMARS artillery systems, more than 10,000 Javelin anti-armor systems, at least 186 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, and 198 Howitzer guns.
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