Ukraine to interchange Reznikov amid corruption scandal: Legislator

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Ukraine is ready to interchange Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov with the chief of its army spy company, a senior legislator has stated, in a high-profile cupboard reshuffle following corruption scandals and forward of an anticipated Russian offensive.

Reznikov, 56, could be transferred to a different ministerial job and changed by Kyrylo Budanov, 37, who heads Ukraine’s GUR army intelligence company, David Arakhamia stated on the Telegram messaging app on Sunday.

“War dictates personnel policies,” stated Arakhamia, an in depth ally of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

There was no rapid assertion from Zelenskyy on changing Reznikov, a former lawyer who grew to become defence minister in November 2021, a number of months earlier than Russia launched its full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022.

Reznikov has helped safe Western weapons to buttress Ukrainian forces, and his removing as defence minister could be the highest-profile authorities change in a slew of resignations and sackings following a corruption scandal late final month and Zelenskyy’s pledge for Ukraine to fulfill Western requirements of fresh governance.

The scandal concerned meals contracts that envisaged paying vastly inflated costs. Amid the general public outcry, considered one of Reznikov’s deputy ministers has been fired, whereas two different senior officers have additionally since left their posts.

Arakhamia stated that Ukraine’s “force” businesses — just like the defence ministry — shouldn’t be headed by politicians throughout wartime however by individuals with a background in defence or safety.

“Kyrylo Budanov will head the defence ministry, which is absolutely logical in wartime,” the legislator stated.

Holding the rank of main basic, Budanov has headed the army intelligence since August 2020.

“Time and circumstances require reinforcement and regrouping. This is happening now and will continue to happen in the future,” Arakhamia stated. “The enemy is preparing to advance. We are preparing to defend ourselves,” he added, referring to Ukrainian fears that Russia is planning an unlimited new offensive this month.

Ukraine is planning its personal counteroffensive however is ready for the arrival of battle tanks and infantry preventing automobiles from Western allies.

Arakhamia added that Reznikov could be made minister of strategic industries however didn’t say when the strikes could be formalised.

Reznikov had stated earlier on Sunday that any resolution on a reshuffle was as much as Zelenskyy and that an inner audit of procurement procedures on the defence ministry was underneath manner. The ministry’s personal anti-corruption division had “failed” to do its job, he instructed reporters, and wanted to be “completely rebooted”.

He instructed the Ukrainian Fakty ICTV on-line media later within the night that the switch to the brand new ministry was information to him.

“If I suddenly received such an offer from the president of Ukraine or the prime minister, I would refuse it, because I do not have the expertise,” Reznikov was quoted as saying.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, when requested concerning the reshuffle on nationwide tv on Sunday night time, stated: “Reznikov was extremely efficient in terms of communication with our partners. And this is a very important component in this case.”

Podolyak stated that Reznikov’s “wonderful” private relations with allies have helped Ukraine safe billions of {dollars} of army help to fend off the Russian invasion.

“Negotiations are not just mathematical formulae but also personal relationships. And trust. Unfortunately, today we are losing a measure of trust in us,” Podolyak stated.

Analysts stated any resolution to interchange the defence minister wouldn’t have an effect on Ukraine’s army operations.

“The timing is not so important,” stated William Courtney, senior fellow on the Rand Corporation, a United States-based assume tank.

“The main thing is that the new minister of defence be capable,” Courtney instructed Al Jazeera. “The new minister of defence would have to be the representative of the Ministry of Defence to the parliament, to the presidency, and also to many in the West. Oleksii Reznikov has enjoyed a good reputation in the West as an effective minister of defence, who understood the broad political implications of what was going on. Hopefully the new minister will perform the same role and not seek to duplicate the military strategy functions.”