Zelensky sacks Ukrainian Defense Minister Reznikov

Zelensky sacks Ukrainian Defense Minister Reznikov

President Volodymyr Zelensky has fired the Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, saying the ministry needs “new approaches” as the war enters its 19th month.

In his nightly video address to the nation, Zelenskiy said he would ask parliament this week to replace Reznikov with Rustem Umerov, head of the country’s main privatisation fund.

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Reznikov, defence minister since November 2021, has helped secure billions of dollars of Western military aid to help the war effort, but has been dogged by graft allegations surrounding his ministry that he has described as smears.

The decision comes amid a crackdown on corruption in Ukraine that Zelenskiy has been keen to emphasize. Kyiv has applied to join the European Union and the public has become highly sensitive to corruption as the war rages with no end in sight.

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“I’ve decided to replace the Minister of Defence of Ukraine. Oleksii Reznikov has been through more than 550 days of full-scale war,” Zelenskiy said.

“I believe the ministry needs new approaches and other formats of interaction with both the military and society as a whole.”

Zelenskiy said he expected parliament to approve Umerov’s appointment, adding that Umerov “does not need any additional introduction.” Zelenskiy has to submit Umerov’s candidacy to parliament for review.

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