Kyiv, UKRAINE — Several high-ranking Ukrainian officials were fired on Tuesday, including governors of several regions in the country, amid a growing corruption scandal. The move marked the biggest upheaval in President Volody Mirzelensky’s government since the Russian invasion began 11 months before him.
The Ukrainian Cabinet Office announced the shooting on the Telegram social messaging app, giving no details as to why, but following reports that the Ukrainian army agreed to pay inflated prices for food intended for the Ukrainian army. announced.
Earlier, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said that Deputy Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov had “asked for his dismissal” following the report. In a statement, the ministry said removing Mr. Shapovalov from office would allow it to “maintain the trust” of Ukrainians and the country’s international partners.
Although there was no indication that the procurement scandal was related to embezzlement of Western military aid, the dismissal appeared to reflect Zelensky’s goal to reassure Ukrainian allies. This is because we are preparing for the possibility of a new attack by Moscow.
In addition to the officials named Tuesday, Zelensky’s own representative, Kirilo Tymoshenko, submitted his resignation. A deputy head of the presidential office, Tymoshenko was well known both at home and abroad and was often tasked with providing updates on the war. However, Ukrainian journalists had questioned his extravagant lifestyle and use of government resources.
In particular, he was criticized for driving around in an expensive SUV donated by General Motors for use on humanitarian missions.
Ukraine had struggled to control the spread of corruption long before the invasion. But for many Ukrainians, a common sense of struggle and unity during the war, especially when corruption concerns the military, meant that high-ranking government officials undermined the country’s collective efforts in their own interests. It is particularly irritating to think that there is a possibility that
Over the weekend, Ukrainian newspapers reported that the Defense Ministry had bought food containing eggs for three times the price. Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov called the allegations “absolute nonsense” and the product of “distorted information”.
In a statement on Tuesday, the ministry emphasized that “the accusations made are unfounded and unfounded”, but the call for Mr Shapovalov’s dismissal was “a worthy act in the tradition of Europe and democratic politics”. , indicating that the interests of national defense are higher.” than any cabinet or chair. “
The fact that it took Shapovalov three days to step down raises serious questions about the defense ministry’s efforts to combat corruption, said the person responsible for running the Anti-Corruption Action Center, a Kyiv-based non-governmental organization. said Vitaly Shabunin, Principal.
“A new social contract was born during the war between civil society, journalists and governments. We will not criticize you as we did before the war, but your reaction to scandals and ineffectiveness must be as harsh as possible. We have to,” said Shabunin. “The position of the Minister of Defense violated this agreement.”
— Michael Schwartz Maria Varenikova When Cassandra Vinograd