Zelenskyy reshuffles officials amid corruption scandals

Lviv, Ukraine, Jan 24 (EFE).- Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday fired half a dozen officials and gave the green light to dismiss five regional governors in the biggest government overhaul since the Russian invasion began.

The shakeup came in the wake of a series of corruption scandals involving alleged misuse of funds by various government aides. Ukrainian newspaper Kyiv Independent reported.

Cabinet ministry representative Taras Melnychuk said that among those dismissed were deputy defense minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, deputy minister of social policy Vitalii Muzychenko, as well as deputy ministers of development of communities and territories Ivan Lukeria and Viacheslav Nehoda.

Deputy heads of state service of maritime and river transport Anatoliy Ivankevych and Viktor Vyshnyov were also given the sack.

Regional governors Valentyn Reznichenko of Dnipropetrovsk, Oleksii Kuleba of Kyiv, Oleksandr Starukh of Zaporizhzhia, Dmytro Zhyvytskyi of Sumy and Yaroslav Yanushevych of Kherson have submitted their resignation, which Zelenskyy accepted.

According to local media, Kuleba is expected to replace deputy head of presidential office Kyrylo Tymoshenko, who asked Zelenskyy to dismiss him earlier.

On January 21, Ukrainian newspaper ZN reported that the ministry of defense had purchased food for soldiers three times more expensive than that in Kyiv grocery stores, a claim that is currently under investigation.

Zelenskyy’s decisions took place after his nightly address on Monday, where he said personnel changes had been made “regarding officials of various levels in ministries and other central government bodies, in the regions, and the law enforcement system.”

Top officials have also been banned from traveling “abroad for vacation or any other non-governmental purpose,” Zelenskyy decreed.

The ban “applies to all officials of the central government and various other levels of local government. It applies to law enforcers, people’s deputies, prosecutors, and all those who are supposed to work for the state and in the state,” he highlighted.

The Ukrainian leader said that the cabinet will develop within five days a “border-crossing procedure for officials so that only a real working trip can be the reason for border crossing.”

The crackdown on corruption comes as Kyiv is trying to convince allies to send more weapons, including German-made Leopard 2 tanks.EFE

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