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08 February, 2023
 
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Ukraine: Resignations abound amid corruption allegations

Deputy minister and presidential adviser resign

Ukraine's leadership appears to be in disarray, with corruption allegations, resignations of close associates of President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the president himself undergoing a wide-ranging reshuffle of his government staff. Key officials, including the president's deputy chief of staff and the deputy defense minister, have resigned.

Kirill Tymoshenko, the deputy director of Zelensky's office, said Tuesday morning that he had asked the president to relieve him of his duties on Monday.

"I thank Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky for his trust and the opportunity to do good every day and every minute," Tymoshenko wrote on Telegram.Ukraine: Deputy Minister and Presidential Advisers Resign – Changes Amid Corruption Allegations-1

Mr. Tymoshenko displays his handwritten letter of resignation (photo Ukrinform).

He also expressed gratitude saying "every regional military commander. We were able to assemble the strongest team in the country. You're fantastic. You are true light warriors!"

A week ago, another close adviser to Ukraine's president, Oleksiy Arestovich, resigned.

Mr. Arestovich resigned due to an inappropriate comment he made about the deadly Russian strike on a nine-story apartment building in Dnipro. He claimed that Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses shot down the missile that eventually hit the building.

Meanwhile, in his evening message on Monday, Mr. Zelensky announced that he would make significant changes in both people and aspects of his war-torn country's governance.

While he did not name specific individuals who would be leaving or offices where changes would be made, he stressed that changes were occurring at both the top and bottom levels of Ukrainian governance in response to allegations of corruption in Kyiv.

"Decisions on personnel changes have already been made - some today, others tomorrow - concerning officials at various levels, in ministries and other central government structures, as well as in regions and law enforcement agencies," Zelensky said in a taped message on Monday night.

The Ukrainian president stated that his plans included stricter oversight of official travel abroad for state missions, with only travel for state missions permitted.

Corruption allegations

Cabinet members and other senior officials may be fired immediately, according to several Ukrainian media outlets.

On Sunday, anti-corruption police announced the arrest of Deputy Infrastructure Minister Vasily Lozinski on suspicion of receiving a $400,000 kickback for importing generators last September, which the minister denies.

According to a newspaper investigation, the defense ministry overpaid suppliers for soldiers' food. The supplier claimed a technical error occurred and that the money was not changed. Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has denied allegations of corruption in army procurement, but his deputy minister resigned on Tuesday.

Although the ministry maintains that there is no corruption, it added in a statement that Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov resigned in order to maintain the ministry's prestige and trust. His resignation was even described as a "worthy act" by him.

The Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine also announced the dismissal of the country's deputy prosecutor general.

Zelenetsky's Servant of the People party leader David Arahamia said officials should "focus on the war, help the victims, reduce bureaucracy, and stop dubious operations."

"Some people will almost certainly go to jail this spring. If the humane approach fails, we will impose martial law," he stated.

It should also be noted that the head of the Interior Ministry was also killed in a helicopter crash in northern Ukraine last week.

Source: Reuters, France 24

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Cyprus  |  Ukraine  |  corruption

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