NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 13:23
Following persistent allegations of corruption, Ukrainian President Zelensky announced a series of layoffs from the government last night, without naming names. He also announced stricter supervision of government employees traveling abroad.
As of last night, ten high-ranking officials have so far left the field. Not all dismissed civil servants have been informed exactly why they have to make way. Internal political conflicts may also play a role.
The deputy head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, has announced his resignation after Zelensky’s speech. He gave no further explanation.
Ukraine’s Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksi Symonenko has also been removed from office. That decision would be “his own wish”. No further reason is given.
Purchased too expensive
Vyacheslav Shapovalov, the deputy defense minister of Ukraine, was next to go: he has long been accused of corruption and has resigned today. Shapovalov is said to have bought food for the troops at far too high a price.
Furthermore, Secretaries of State Viacheslav Nehoda and Ivan Lukerya Facebook have announced their resignations and five regional governors have been fired.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov yesterday called those allegations a smear campaign. Today, the Defense Ministry is full of praise for Shapovalov’s decision to leave, which would keep confidence in the ministry high.
Michajlo Podoljak, an important adviser to President Zelensky, praised the round of resignations on Twitter. “Zelensky’s personnel decisions reflect the state’s most important priorities. Don’t close your eyes,” he writes.
Ukraine was already plagued by corruption scandals before the war, but since the outbreak of the war, attention has mainly been focused on this. Zelensky – at a time when Ukraine is hoping for more heavy weapons to be supplied from the West – seems to be putting tackling corruption higher on the agenda with the series of layoffs. Western allies regularly insist that Ukraine, apart from the war effort, must continue to fight corruption.
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