- By Paul Adams, International Correspondent, and Malu Corsino
- BBC News
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the dismissal of Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov from his post.
Reznikov has been leading the ministry since before the full-scale Russian invasion began in February 2022.
In his evening address, President Zelensky said it was time for “new methods” in the Ministry of Defense.
Zelensky nominated Rustam Omirov, who runs the State Property Fund in Ukraine, to succeed Reznikov.
And the Ukrainian president said in his evening speech from the capital, Kiev: “I think that the ministry needs new methods and other forms of interaction with the army and society as a whole.”
Ukrainian media speculated that Reznikov would become Kiev’s new ambassador to London, as he had developed good relations with top politicians.
Reznikov, 57, has become a well-known figure since the start of the war in Ukraine. He is internationally recognized, has regularly attended meetings with Ukraine’s western allies, and has played a key role in lobbying for additional military equipment.
But his dismissal had been expected for some time. Last week, Reznikov told reporters he was exploring other positions with the Ukrainian president.
According to Ukrainian media, the former defense minister said that if Zelensky offered him the opportunity to work on another project, he would probably agree.
His dismissal comes amid a broader anti-corruption drive in the Zelensky administration, with the removal of state graft deemed essential to the country’s desire to join Western institutions such as the European Union.
While Reznikov is not personally accused of corruption, there have been a number of procurement scandals in the Ministry of Defense concerning goods and equipment intended for the military.
Earlier this year, Reznikov’s deputy, Vyacheslav Shapovalov, resigned in the wake of the scandal. It was widely reported at the time that Reznikov had barely kept his position.
His dismissal comes as Ukraine launches a slow and bloody counter-offensive after acquiring more advanced weaponry from its Western allies.
Progress on the front line has been slow, but senior Ukrainian generals said recently that Kiev’s forces had hit key Russian defences.
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