Ukraine’s defence minister sacked amid anti-corruption drive

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced the dismissal of his defence minister Oleksii Reznikov, who had led the ministry since before the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Mr. Zelensky said he wanted to introduce “new approaches” in the defence sector and nominated Rustem Umerov, who runs Ukraine’s State Property Fund, as Mr. Reznikov’s replacement.

Mr Reznikov was a well-known figure internationally and played a key role in lobbying for additional military equipment for Ukraine.

He was also involved in the negotiations with Russia and its allies over the fate of the occupied territories in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Ukrainian media has speculated that Mr Reznikov will become Kyiv’s new ambassador in London.

The dismissal comes amid a wider anti-corruption drive in Mr. Zelensky’s administration, which has seen several high-profile officials being arrested or fired in recent weeks. Mr Zelensky has vowed to root out corruption and reform the judiciary, which are among the main demands of Ukraine’s Western partners and civil society.

However, some critics have accused him of using the anti-corruption campaign as a pretext to consolidate his power and remove his rivals.

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