Ukraine dismissed six more Defense Ministry officials

A commander of a unit of the 3rd Assault Brigade walks past the body of a dead Russian soldier in Andriivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine (AP Photo/Alex Babenko) (Alex Babenko/)

Six Ukrainian deputy defense ministers were dismissed on Monday following the dismissal two weeks ago of the defense minister, Oleksii Reznikovdue to a corruption scandal, reported the Ukrainian authorities.

Among the dismissed officers were the vice ministers Hanna Maliar, Vitalii Deyneha and Denys Sharapovas well as the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Defense Kostiantyn Vashchenkoaccording to the Telegram account of Taras Melnychuk, permanent representative of the cabinet of ministers.

Melnychuk gave no explanation for the layoffs, although the government is investigating allegations of corruption in the military linked to the purchase of equipment. Rustem Umerov, a lawmaker who is a member of the Crimean Tatar community and who took over as defense minister, did not comment.

Reznikov left the post this month following a scandal involving the ministry’s procurement of military jackets at three times the cost. Reznikov denied the accusations, but resigned from the position.

The changes in the department came the day after the Ukrainian army revealed that it had seized the town of Russian troops from Klishchiivka after months of heavy fighting. Fighting continued on Monday as soldiers tried to hold the town south of the Russian-held city of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year. Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in June that has so far been marked by small victories but no major breakthroughs.

With the idea of ​​​​gathering more support, Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky is heading to the United States, where he is expected at the White House and on Capitol Hill this week as part of his visit to the United Nations General Assembly. His visit to Washington comes as Congress debates President Joe Biden’s request to provide up to $24 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Furthermore, six civilians were killed and 16 wounded in the 24 hours, according to the presidential office.

Russian forces attacked residential areas in eight cities and towns in the Donetsk region, including Avdiivka and Kurdiumivka, killing one person and wounding four, the office said. Five artillery attacks on Kherson left one dead and another wounded. In the nearby town of Beryslav, Russian forces dropped explosives from a drone near the local bus station, wounding four people, according to the presidential office.

Oleh Kiper, Odessa regional governor, said a recreational facility in the town of Vylkovo had been damaged, but no casualties had been initially reported. Vylkovo, often known as the “Venice of Ukraine” for its many canals, is located in the Danube Delta, on the border with Romania.

(With information from AP)