Ukraine is expected to replace its defense minister involved in a wartime corruption scandal with Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has recently launched a “war on corruption” by replacing 10 high-ranking government officials suspected of corruption.
On the 5th (local time), Reuters reported that Oleksi Reznikou (56), the current Defense Minister, who was said to have been fired due to corruption within the army, was appointed Minister of Strategic Industry, and Kirillo Budanow (37 ), head of the 30th Military Intelligence Agency, is expected to become Ukraine’s new defense minister. David Arahamiya, the ruling party’s ‘Servant of the People’ floor leader, said on Telegram, “In times of war, military institutions like the Ministry of National Defense should not be led by politicians, but should be led by those has expertise. in national defense or security.” Explained.
Reznikow was appointed defense secretary in November 2021 and has promoted ties with Western defense ministers and overseen billions of dollars in military aid since the Russian invasion last February. However, the army has recently been criticized for allegedly boasting that it had bought ingredients at two or three times the market price. Previously, the Deputy Minister of National Defense also resigned at the end of last month, taking responsibility for allegations of corruption in the procurement of food.
It is said that Defense Minister-nominee Budanou has been recognized for his work ability, such as predicting the Russian invasion before it invaded Russia and leading the Military Intelligence Agency during the war, correctly predicting the Russian military plan several months in advance. However, no specific details are known as to when the exchange will be made official.
Ukraine’s defense minister has been replaced amid speculation that the Russian military is regrouping and planning a major offensive. Fighting is already intensifying in Bakhmut, Donbas region, eastern Ukraine.
Defense Minister Reznikow held a press conference before the personnel announcement on the afternoon of the 5th and said, “We expect a major Russian attack this month, but Ukraine has the resources to prevent it.” “The Department of Defense’s anti-corruption department needed an overhaul and it didn’t do what it was supposed to do,” he said. “I have no shame. I have nothing against my conscience.”