The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office resigned on Tuesday, after Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky vowed to reshuffle the staff amid allegations of high-level corruption during the war with Russia.
In a message posted on his website, Zelensky announced that he has decided to make “personnel changes”, although without giving more details about these measures. “We have already made personnel decisions, some today (Monday), some tomorrow, regarding officials at various levels in ministries and other central government bodies, in the regions and in the law enforcement system,” the president stressed. .
After the publication of this message, this Tuesday the dismissal of one of the strong men of its Executivethe deputy head of the Presidential Office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, who has confirmed the resignation of his position in a letter. “I thank the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, for the trust and the opportunity to do good things every day and every minute,” Tymoshenko wrote on his Telegram account.
He also thanked “each head of the regional military administrations (for their support). You and I were able to build the most powerful team in the country. You are great. They are true warriors of the light!” she specified.
The Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov also resignedlocal media reported, claiming that his departure was related to a scandal involving the purchase of food for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko also resigned.
Tymoshenko joined the presidential office in 2019, after working on Zelensky’s media and creative content strategy during his presidential campaign.
Zelensky had promised personnel changes in the government, regional administrations and security forces following allegations of corruption that surfaced after the invasion of Russia last February.
Tymoshenko last year was under investigation in connection with his personal use of luxury cars. He was also among the officials linked last September to the embezzlement of more than $7 million worth of humanitarian aid destined for the southern region of Zaporizhzhia.
He has denied all the accusations.
Zelensky vowed to oust the corrupt officials in comments on Sunday, when a deputy minister was sacked for being part of a network to embezzle budget funds. Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry later identified the fired official as Vasyl Lozynsky, a deputy minister there.
In his evening speech, Zelenskyy said that Ukraine’s focus on the war would not prevent his government from tackling corruption.
Zelensky, who came to power in 2019 on an anti-establishment, anti-corruption platform, flagged suspicions in the areas of energy and military procurement.
He said that with the dismissal of the vice minister he intended to send “a signal to all those whose actions or behaviors violate the principle of justice”.
“I want to be clear: there will be no going back to what used to be in the past,” Zelenskyy said.
Oleksandr Kubrakov, the infrastructure minister, said Lozynsky was relieved of his duties after Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency detained him while receiving a $400,000 bribe for helping arrange contracts related to the restoration of infrastructure facilities hit by Russian missile attacks.
A statement from the National Anti-Corruption Office of Ukraine described Lozynsky as part of “an organized criminal group involved in the embezzlement of budget funds.”
He said his detectives were working to identify the other members of the group.
(with information from AP and EFE)
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