- Zelensky promises change amid corruption scandal
- Poland says it plans to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine
- Germany hints at export approval for tanks as allies pressure
KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been sacked at senior and junior levels in the wake of the most high-profile corruption allegations since Russia’s aggression that threatened to dampen Western enthusiasm for the Kyiv government. He said there were changes.
Reports of a new scandal in Ukraine, which has a long history of shaky rule, come as European nations quarrel over giving Kyiv a German-made Leopard 2 tank. area.
In his nightly video address on Monday, Zelensky said, “Personnel decisions are already being made for officials at various levels of ministries and other central government agencies, regions and law enforcement. There will be today and tomorrow.
Zelensky, who did not specify the official to replace him, said his plans included increased surveillance of foreign travel for official missions.
Several Ukrainian media outlets have reported that ministers and senior officials could be dismissed imminently.
On Sunday, anti-corruption police said they had detained the deputy infrastructure minister on suspicion of receiving a $400,000 kickback over importing generators last September, an accusation the minister denied.
A newspaper inquiry accused the Ministry of Defense of overpaying soldiers’ food suppliers. The supplier says there was a technical glitch and no money was exchanged.
Zelensky-led People’s Servant party leader David Alakamir said officials “should focus on war, help victims, cut bureaucracy and end questionable businesses.”
“We will definitely imprison them aggressively this spring, and if the humane approach does not work, we will do so under martial law,” he said.
“Spring is the deciding factor”
The front line was largely frozen for two months, despite heavy losses on both sides.
Ukraine says Western tanks will fire ground forces, breach Russian defense lines and resume advances. But Western allies have failed to reach agreement on deploying tanks to Kyiv, fearing a move that could escalate Moscow.
Berlin, which must approve the re-export of leopards, has said it is ready to act quickly if consensus is reached among allies.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who borders Ukraine, said Warsaw was seeking permission to send Leopard tanks to Kyiv and was trying to get others on board.
Germany has not blocked the re-export of Leopard tanks to Ukraine, a top European Union diplomat said Monday.
US lawmakers have put pressure on their government to export M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, saying even symbolic numbers will help force European allies to do the same.
Britain has said it will supply 14 Challenger 2 tanks. French President Emmanuel Macron said he has not ruled out sending Leclerc tanks.
Moscow tried to apply its own pressure.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “All countries that are directly or indirectly participating in sending weapons to Ukraine and improving its technical level are responsible.”
Both Ukraine and Russia are believed to be planning spring offensives to break the deadlock in what has become a war of attrition in eastern and southern Ukraine.
“Russia and Putin will be doomed if this planned large-scale Russian offensive fails,” Vadim Skivitsky, deputy head of the Ukrainian military intelligence service, said in an interview with news site Delphi. .
Donetsk governor Pablo Kirilenko said in a Telegram that one person was killed and two wounded in a Russian shelling of a residential area in the town of Chasib Yar on Monday.
“Russians are deliberately terrorizing and killing civilians, and they will pay a lot for this,” he said.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the battlefield report.
“Against the West”
Eleven months after invading Ukraine, Russia has changed its war rhetoric from an operation to “de-naz” and “demilitarize” its neighbors to an operation that it advocates as a defense against aggressive Western powers. Kyiv and its Western allies call it an act of aggression without cause.
On Monday, the new general in charge of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine said modern Russia had never seen “the intensity of military hostilities” like this, forcing it to carry out offensive operations. warned that it was
“Our country and its armed forces are today acting against the entire Western collective,” General Staff Valery Gerasimov told news website Argumenty i Fakty.
Military reforms announced in mid-January could be tailored to address threats to Russia’s security, including Sweden and Finland’s aspirations to join NATO use of Ukraine as a tool to wage hybrid warfare.
Ukraine has imposed sanctions on 22 Russians linked to the Russian Orthodox Church. This is because President Zelensky said they supported genocide under the guise of religion.
Reported by a Reuters bureau. Written by Costas Pitas and Himani Sarkar. Edited by Stephen Coates
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