July 16, 2024

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Ukrainian President Zelensky replaces his Minister of Defense: What is happening?

Ukrainian President Zelensky replaces his Minister of Defense: What is happening?

“I have decided to replace Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov,” Zelensky said. “Reznikov has lived through more than 550 days of war. I believe that the ministry needs a new approach and new ways of interacting with the army and society in the broadest sense of the word.”

Watch – President Zelensky’s announcement:

Reznikov became minister in November 2021 and is the man who ensured that Ukraine received billions of dollars in military aid from the West. Now he has to leave, why?

Corruption scandals in the army

“Reznikov himself does not seem to be to blame, but a number of corruption scandals in his ministry have been uncovered in recent months,” says Marine Treu, a VRT NWS journalist and Ukrainian expert. “As Defense Minister, Reznikov, of course, bears a great responsibility.”

“For example, in January, his deputy minister resigned when it emerged that food provided to the army was two or three times overpaid, so the difference may have been cancelled. It later emerged that winter uniforms were also overpaid.”

Zelensky (left of photo) with Reznikov (second person from right)


“Then came the scandal in which recruitment officers were arrested. They were accused of receiving bribes from men who wanted to avoid mobilization and not join the army.”

Watch – In March, Reznikov proudly announced the delivery of the first British tanks:

Do not immediately start a counterattack

According to Trieu, the Ukrainian army’s counterattack, which is not going as hoped, has no direct relation to it. “But while every effort is being made to reclaim territory from the Russian army, Ukraine cannot afford to let things take their course.”

It is inexcusable that there are men who evade military service through corruption

VRT NWS journalist and Ukraine expert Marine Treu

“While many soldiers die every day on the front in southern Ukraine, it is inexcusable that there are men evading military service because of corruption. Zelensky wants to show that he takes the problem seriously and is tackling corruption. It is the Americans who are the main reason.” The support provider, we also focus on that a lot.”

From Reznikov to Umarov

Meanwhile, Zelensky also appointed his replacement. It concerns Rustam Umarov, who now heads the State Property Fund. “This fund is responsible for the privatization of Ukrainian state buildings,” Trieu says. “He acquired his skills in filling loopholes and examining state-owned enterprises.”

photo alliance/photothek

“Umarov was also one of the negotiators who traveled to Belarus for negotiations in the first months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. So he has experience in negotiations and prisoner exchanges.”

“Moreover, he is of Crimean Tatar origin. Crimean Tatars are the indigenous inhabitants of the Crimean Peninsula annexed by Russia. Therefore, the appointment of Omerov as Minister of Defense is also a clear signal that Ukraine will never give up Crimea or allow Russia to continue its occupation.” Monitor the area.”

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