Ukraine sacks all deputy defense ministers as new chief takes helm

Ukraine sacked its six deputy defense ministers nearly two weeks after the country’s new defense chief took the helm amid a corruption scandal in the military.

The fired deputy defense ministers fired include Hanna Maliar,Vitaliy Deynega and Denys Sharapov, as well as state Secretary of the Defense Ministry Kostiantyn Vashchenko, according to a Telegram post from Taras Melnychuk, the permanent representative of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Melnychuk did not explain the firings, though the shake-up comes amid the government’s investigation of accusations of corruption in the military.

Former Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov resigned earlier this month amid a corruption scandal involving the ministry’s procurement of military jackets at three times their cost. He has since been replaced with Rustem Umerov.

Umerov was appointed by the Verkhovna Rada as the chairman of Ukraine’s State Property Fund in September 2022, where he led the processes of privatization and lease in the state.

In his announcement about the replacement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he thinks the ministry “needs new approaches,” while noting Reznikov served in the position for 550 days of “full-scale war.”

The Associated Press contributed.

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