Zelensky sacks Defence Minister Reznikov amid failed counteroffensive

Zelensky sacks Defence Minister Reznikov amid failed counteroffensive and corruption

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed Oleksiy Reznikov from the post of Minister of Defense. Reznikov will be appointed Ukraine's new ambassador to the UK.

Reznikov has been in office for almost two years, since November 2021. As the Minister of Defence, he was responsible, inter alia, for arranging the supplies of Western weapons and equipment for the Ukrainian army.

Commenting on his resignation, Reznikov said that he was not yet aware of plans to appoint him as ambassador to the UK. Nevertheless, several Ukrainian MPs confirmed that there were such plans.

In his Sunday address, Zelensky also named Reznikov's successor — the head of the State Property Fund of the country, Rustam Umerov. The Ukrainian Parliament will consider his candidacy for the post of Ukraine's Defence minister this week.

In the past, Umarov was engaged in telecommunications business and investments. He also was also a member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people (recognised as an extremist organization and banned in Russia), and served as an assistant to its chairman Mustafa Dzhemilev on human rights and international activities.

Reznikov's corruption scandals

During his service as the Minister of Defence, Oleksiy Reznikov found himself in a series of corruption scandals.

In January 2023 it was reported that Ukraine's Ministry of Defence was misappropriating the budget to provide rear units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with supplies. For example, eggs would be proved as 17 hryvnia per one egg (about $0.46) and the cost of a batch winter army jackets would be raised from $142,000 to $421,000

Reznikov's resignation could also be linked with Ukraine's mobilisation policies. Employees of military registration and enlistment offices continue catching potential soldiers in public places. There are almost no legal ways to get a deferment for men of military age. They try to leave the territory of Ukraine bribing officials and forging documents.

On August 11, Volodymyr Zelensky fired 24 regional military commissars for compromising mobilisation policies.

New waves of mobilisation in Ukraine continue. In early September, the authorities cut the list of diseases for which conscripts would be able to obtain a deferment from mobilisation. From now on, patients with HIV and hepatitis in non-terminal stage as well as mild mental disorders will be recruited into the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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Author`s name Andrey Mihayloff
Editor Dmitry Sudakov