Zelensky fires Defense Minister, calls for ‘new approaches’

Kiev: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has fired his Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, saying that it was time for “new approaches” in the Defense Ministry as the war with Russia entered its 19th month. Rustem Umerov, who runs Ukraine’s State Property Fund, has been nominated by Zelensky as Reznikov’s successor, reports the BBC.

In his nightly address to the nation, Zelensky said: “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.

“The Verkhovna Rada (legislature) of Ukraine knows this person well, and Umerov does not need any additional introductions… I expect Parliament to support this candidate.” Reznikov’s removal comes in the wake of a number of corruption scandals involving Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, reports CNN.

While the 57-year-old has not been implicated in any of them, the scandals have still been seen to damage him by association. Earlier this year, Reznikov’s deputy Vyacheslav Shapovalov had resigned in the wake of the scandals.

At the time, Reznikov said the stress he had endured this year “is hard to measure precisely”, adding that his “conscience is absolutely clear”.

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy: X@@oleksiireznikov)

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