Ukraine’s Zelensky SACKS ‘more than a dozen officials and governors accused of corruption’

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Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky announced Tuesday the dismissal of more than a dozen governors, deputy ministers and even his deputy advisor in its fight against corruption, a major reason why the European Union hasn’t yet granted it membership – days after announcing that there would be changes at the top of the country following several scandals within the Ministry of Defense and the arrest of a deputy minister for allegedly accepting bribes.

The purge, is the biggest shake-up of its wartime leadership since Russia’s invasion last year.

Among Ukrainian officials who resigned or were dismissed on Tuesday were the governors of the Kyiv, Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk which is adjacent to Zaporizhzhia are war frontline provinces now; Kyiv and Sumy were major battlefields earlier in the war.

According to Zelensky’s office, a deputy defence minister, a deputy prosecutor, a deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office and two deputy ministers responsible for regional development were among the others who left their positions.

Some of those who left had been linked with corruption allegations.

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Zelenskiy announces changes to senior positions amid corruption allegations

Ukraine has a history of corruption and is under international pressure to show it can account for billions of dollars in Western aid if has received before and since Russia’s invasion.

‘There are already personnel decisions – some today, some tomorrow – regarding officials at various levels in ministries and other central government structures, as well as in the regions and in law enforcement,’ Zelenskiy said in a statement.

Zelenskiy aide Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted: ‘The president sees and hears society. And he directly responds to a key public demand – justice for all.’

The announcement came after the arrest on Sunday of Vasyl Lozynskyy, the acting minister for regional development.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine has accused Lozynskyy of receiving $400,000 in ‘unlawful benefits’ for facilitating contracts, including for power generators – a sensitive issue in a country that is struggling to cope with freezing temperatures and frequent power cuts caused by the Russia’s attacks on its infrastructure.

The Defence Ministry said Deputy Defence Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, responsible for supplying troops, had resigned to retain trust after what it called untrue media accusations of corruption.

Vyacheslav Shapovalov, responsible for supplying troops, had resigned to retain trust after what it called untrue media accusations of corruption.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau also said it was investigating ‘high-profile media reports’ into allegations that Ukraine’s defense ministry was buying military provisions, including food for the troops, at inflated prices.

The prosecutor’s office gave no reason for the sacking of Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko, who had been under fire in Ukrainian media for taking a holiday in Spain.

Though Zelenskiy did not name any officials in his address, he announced a new ban on officials holidaying abroad.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy chief of staff in Zelenskiy’s office, announced his own resignation, also citing no reason.

Tymoshenko shared a photo of his resignation letter, dated Monday, and said ‘I would like to ask you to dismiss me from the post of Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine at my own request.’

In a statement addressing the allegations, Tymoshenko said the car – a Chevrolet Tahoe – was used for official purposes and that he had never hidden the fact that he was using it.

‘In recent months, I have driven this car about 40,000 kilometers on business trips throughout Ukraine. I will not use this car in the future,’ he said, adding that the vehicle will be transferred to ‘one of the frontline regions, where it will be used for humanitarian purposes’ in the coming days.

Within hours of Tymoschenko’s announcement, many more followed his footsteps.

Tymoschenko had helped run the president’s 2019 election campaign and more recently had a role in overseeing regional policy.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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