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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy removes Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy removes Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov. Photo Courtesy: Oleksii Reznikov Twitter page

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy removes Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov

| @indiablooms | 04 Sep 2023, 10:54 am

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that he has dismissed the country's Defence Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, who had been serving the country in the position since the beginning of Russia's invasion of the nation in 2022.

The President cited the need for 'new approaches' as a reason for his action.

"This week, parliament will be asked to make a personnel decision … I have decided to replace the minister of defense of Ukraine. Oleksii Reznikov has gone through more than 550 days of full-scale war," Zelenskyy was quoted as saying by CNN.

He nominated Rustem Umerov, who runs Ukraine's State Property Fund, as the new Defence Minister of the country.

"The Verkhovna Rada (legislature) of Ukraine knows this person well, and Mr. Umerov does not need any additional introductions," Zelensky was quoted as saying by CNN.

The President said: "I expect parliament to support this candidate."

Oleksii Reznikov had been serving as the Defence Minister of Ukraine since November 2021.

Previously, he had also served as the deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, as per the country's Defence Ministry website.

His removal comes in the wake of a number of corruption scandals involving Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence, reported CNN.

As per Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, the country ranked 116, out of 180 nations.

There have been reports of corruption in the country's defence ministry over procurement of goods and equipment for the army at allegedly inflated prices. However, Reznikov was not personally accused of corruption.

Ukrainian media has speculated that Reznikov will become Kyiv's new ambassador in London, where he has developed good relations with senior politicians, BBC reported.

Ukrainian defence advisor Yuriy Sak told the BBC that Reznikov spearheaded the transformation of the ministry, laying the groundwork for future NATO membership.

Also Read: Russia-Ukraine conflict: Drone attack at Pskov airport leaves four Il-76 planes damaged

"His legacy is that he has convinced ministers of defence around the world that the impossible is possible," he said in reference to Reznikov's successful lobbying of foreign governments for arms.

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