Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov addresses a press conference about the activities of his ministry one year since the war in Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, 05 February 2023 (reissued 03 September 2023). EFE/EPA FILE/OLEG PETRASYUK

Zelenskyy dismisses defense minister in shake-up

Kyiv, Sep 4 (EFE).- Ukraine’s defense minister has been dismissed from his post, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced late Sunday, in the biggest shake-up of the ministry since the Russian invasion.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov during the joint press conference of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (all not pictured) in Lviv, Ukraine, 18 July 2022 (reissued 03 September 2023). EFE/EPA FILE/MYKOLA TYS

Oleksiy Reznikov led the ministry since before Russia invaded the country in February last year.

President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers his video address during the 77th General Debate inside the General Assembly Hall at United Nations Headquarters in New York, New York, USA, 21 September 2022. EFE/EPA FILE/Peter Foley

“This week, the parliament will be offered to make a personnel decision. I want to outline it now. I have decided to replace the minister of defense of Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said during his evening speech.

Zelenskyy said “Reznikov has gone through more than 550 days of full-scale war. I believe that the ministry needs new approaches and other formats of interaction with both the military and society at large.”

He therefore announced that Rustem Umerov, head of Ukraine’s State Property Fund, would replace Reznikov pending parliamentary approval.

During his time in office, Reznikov helped secure billions of dollars in Western military aid for Ukrainian forces and built strong rapport with allied defense ministers, but was dogged by accusations of his ministry’s involvement in procurement corruption, which he has denied.

Ukrainian media has tipped him as possible new ambassador to London.

Reznikov’s replacement Umerov has reportedly excelled in his anti-corruption efforts, which Kyiv has cracked down on, and in negotiations during the war. EFE