Ukraine sacks 6 deputy defence ministers, defence secretary weeks after min’s dismissal

Former defence minister Oleksii Reznikov was dismissed recently on corruption charges

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Rustem Umerov

The Ukraine cabinet on Monday dismissed all six deputy defence ministers and secretary of defence allegedly over corruption charges. The move comes within weeks of the dismissal of former defence minister Oleksii Reznikov following reports of corruption in the procurement of military equipment.

According to reports, deputy defence ministers Hanna Maliar, Volodymyr Havrylov, Rostyslav Zamlynskyi, Denys Sharapov, Andrii Shevchenko, and Vitalii Deineha were dismissed on Monday. The cabinet also dismissed the state secretary for defence Kostiantyn Vashchenko.

The Kyiv Independent reported former minister Oleksii Reznikov's tenure at the Defense Ministry was marred by several scandals related to the procurement of equipment and supplies for Ukrainian forces.

Deputy defence ministers including Hanna Maliar, Vitalii Deyneha and Denys Sharapov, as well as the state secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Kostiantyn Vashchenko, were fired, according to the Telegram account of Taras Melnychuk, permanent representative of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Melnychuk provided no explanation of the firings, but the government has been investigating accusations of corruption in the military-related to purchasing equipment. Rustem Umerov, a Crimean Tatar lawmaker who took over as defence minister, did not immediately issue a statement.

Reznikov was removed earlier this month after a scandal involving the defence ministry's procurement of military jackets at three times their cost. Reznikov denied the allegations but resigned.

The reshuffling of the department came a day after Ukraine's military said it captured the village of Klishchiivka from Russian troops after months of fierce battles. Fighting continued Monday as troops tried to hold the village south of the Russian-held city of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region. Its recapture followed the retaking of the nearby village of Andriivka.

“The enemy is trying with all his might to regain lost positions,” Maliar said in a briefing Monday before she was fired. "Therefore, our fighters hold back the enemy's attacks there and are entrenched at the achieved frontiers.”

Retaking Klishchiivka is considered tactically important, allowing Ukrainian forces to further extend their gains around Bakhmut.

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