Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry officially acknowledged the arrest of Director of the Ukrspetseksport First Regional Department Oleksandr Shkolyarenko and his deputy Oleksandr Khrulev in Kazakhstan, according to KW. While no official charges have been pressed against them, there are chances however slim that an amicable solution to the problem can be found, KW wrote in an article by Mykhailo Samus, of the Center for Army Conversion and Disarmament Studies.
Ukrspetseksport CEO’s were arrested at the airport in Astana on suspicion of bribing a Kazakhstan government official. At the same time, officers of the Kazakh National Security Committee (NSC) arrested the head of the Chief Armament Administration of the Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan Almaz Asenov, presumably for taking a bribe of US $200,000.
Such a seemingly straightforward story has a double lining. The Kazakh army has a strict quota of 34 generals. Asenov was recently appointed having served in 2008 as a colonel and head of the combat training department. Such an advance in career at the age of 43 can only be explained by the fact that on the threshold of the break-up of the USSR Asenov graduated from the Moscow Military Command School and the Kazakh army lacks well-educated officers.
In truth, the Russian media has described this innovation as hopelessly obsolete, though at the same time it failed to mention the latest achievements of the Russian defense industry. Indeed, what can be said if just recently the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the purchase of 1,775 Italian Lynx tactical vehicles manufactured by Iveco.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that Ukrspetseksport’s reputation has been tarnished by the latest events in Astana and the shadow is cast on the prospective APC-4MV. One might wonder. Who stands to benefit from such a state of affairs, the author is asking?