The ex-head of Ukroboronprom and former head of the Kherson Regional State Yuriy Gusev became the extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador of Ukraine to Azerbaijan, according to Decree No. 86/2024 on the website of the Office of the President.

Gusev will become the ambassador in place of Vladyslav Kanevsky, who was dismissed by the president by another decree.

The former general director of "Ukroboronprom" had his achievements in office, but there were also scandals.

His activity was ambiguous.

On the one hand, the concern managed to partially solve the issue of replacing Russian components for equipment, and on the other hand, the failure of the program for the production of domestic rockets, for which the state allocated billions of hryvnias, was allowed. 

TSN.ua collected everything that is known about Gusev, because his career before Ukroboronprom was not without scandals.

A brief biography

Gusev Yury Veniaminovych was born on November 15, 1979 in the city of Korostyshiv, Zhytomyr region.

Graduated from Kherson State Technical University, Kyiv National University of Economics, completed two programs at Harvard Kennedy School (2011, 2017).

Candidate of economic sciences, associate professor, visiting professor of the Military University of Nueva Granada (Colombia), doctor of theological sciences.

Scandals to "Ukroboronprom"

A month before the 2019 parliamentary elections, the Servant of the People party excluded Gusev from its lists in response to his criticism of his work during the terms of office of Viktor Yanukovych and Petro Poroshenko.

However, in the same year, he was appointed head of the Kherson regional state administration.

He was in the position for 1.5 years.

Gusev was directly accused of corruption for state procurement for the army when he held the position of Deputy Minister of Defense (2014-2016).

Tetyana Chornovil, deputy of the 8th convocation, discovered that the tender committee, which was subordinate to Gusev, bought A-80 gasoline at inflated prices.

According to her, intermediaries received 80 million hryvnias allocated from the budget for the needs of the army in the first quarter of 2015 alone.

There were also more innocent scandals involving Gusev.

According to media reports, during his work as the head of the Kherson Regional State Administration, he gave ducklings to first-graders and created a "happiness department" in the administration.

With him, the Kherson State Administration scandalized the whole country with the performance of the band "Step" in the session hall on the eve of March 8.

But Yurii Gusev reacted quickly and fired several officials who, as he declared, were guilty of organizing this event.

Gusev's successes and failures at Ukroboronprom

Yuriy Gusev served as the head of the Ukroboronprom DK from December 3, 2020 to June 27, 2023, which is the second-longest tenure of officials in this chair after Roman Romanov, who held the position the longest - from July 2014 to February 2018.

But the number of scandals generated by Yuriy Gusev is easily enough for all previous Directors of the Concern.

Despite the loud start with the promise to liquidate DK "Ukroboronprom" by the end of 2021, Gusev did not fulfill it.

Moreover, he was actually accused by the Government of not doing anything significant in this field at all. 

"Golden deputies" by Gusev

And the first serous marker that something was wrong with Gusev appeared almost immediately.

Gusev promised to deal with all the deputies of the former head of "Ukroboronprom" Aivaras Abromavychus, who received a third of a million hryvnias per month.

At the same time, there were no significant personnel changes, as of mid-2021, deputies from Abromavychus' "cohort" — Roman Bondar, Serhii Ivanyuta, and Mykhailo Morozov — continued to work.

Mykhailo Morozov's position could not be shaken even by accusations at the level of the Verkhovna Rada of belonging to the Russian special services, in particular, "Ukroboronprom" reported that he had passed an internal check.

Ghost helicopters and cartridges

At that time, Gusev himself had already managed to become famous for the fact that he promised to launch the licensed production of UH-1 Iroquois helicopters at the Odessa Aviation Plant.

With this, he greatly surprised the helicopter developer Bell Textron, who not only did not give permission, but also did not receive a corresponding request.

In June 2020, Ukroboronprom announced the signing of an agreement with the Canadian company Waterbury Farrel on the joint production of cartridges.

However, no cartridge factory was built in Ukraine.

Scandals with "Antonov"

Ukroboronprom under the leadership of Gusev was accompanied by corruption scandals at the holding company "Antonov".

These are, in particular, schemes for the purchase of fuel and equipment through fictitious companies and undeclared real estate of company managers.

The holding conducted checks on Antonov, and Gusev allegedly wanted to fire the director of the company Serhiy Bychkov.

However, this did not happen and due to the negligence of Antonov managers, Ukraine lost the world's largest An-225 Mriya aircraft and other aircraft in Gostomel.

Equipment repair and ammunition production

It is possible to note the work of "Ukroboronprom" during the beginning of a full-scale war, since the enterprises of the holding were able to repair equipment for the defense of Kyiv at that time.

In addition, it was possible to establish the production of ammunition of Soviet calibers, which are in short supply - 82, 120, 122, 125 and 152 mm.

At the same time, Gusev failed to establish the production of drones needed at the front.

"Ukroboronprom" reported on the development of a kamikaze drone, which is allegedly capable of hitting targets at a distance of 1,000 km.

However, according to the mass media, the Ministry of Defense did not order these devices - it is known that the concern produces them independently and hands them over to the Defense Forces.

Rocket program

The activities of Ukroboronprom in the field of missile production can also be called ambiguous.

It is worth noting that the main reason for Gusev's dismissal was that he "failed the missile program", according to a number of mass media. 

"Ukroboronprom" claims that a significant part of the missile program, developed on behalf of the President of Ukraine and approved at the highest level, has been successfully implemented, but "some issues of its further implementation remain unresolved."

According to the decision of the already former general director Gusev, the security units of the Concern conducted an inspection in March-April 2023 to determine the reasons for the non-implementation of certain measures of the missile program. 

As a reminder, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi may appoint the current Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin as the new Ambassador of Ukraine to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.