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Zelenskyy announces replacement of Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Reznikov resigns (updated)

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced the replacement of the Defense Minister. “Autumn is a time for strengthening,” Zelenskyy said.
ukraine defense minister oleksiy reznikov 11 ramstein meeting russia approaching nuremberg 2
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, an illustrative image/ Source: Telegram, @RBC_ua_news
Zelenskyy announces replacement of Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Reznikov resigns (updated)

On 3 September, in his daily address to Ukrainians, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced his decision to replace Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov. According to Zelenskyy, his place will be taken by Rustem Umerov, the current head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine.

Oleksii 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. Now Rustem Umerov should lead the Ministry,” Zelenskyy said in his evening address.

The motion will be voted in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, this week.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine knows this person well, and Mr. Umerov does not need any additional introductions. I expect the Parliament to support this candidate,” Zelenskyy emphasized.

Rustem Umerov, a Ukrainian politician and businessman of Crimean Tatar origin, currently serves as the head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine. Previously, he was a member of the Ukrainian parliament in the Holos party from 2019 to 2022.

Oleksii Reznikov has led the Defense Ministry since November 2021. Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, he has played a crucial role in coordinating military aid from foreign allies, helping secure billions of dollars in military assistance for the Ukrainian army.

The decision to dismiss Reznikov was apparently taken amidst several scandals related to the purchase of equipment and provisions for Ukrainian military personnel.

In August 2023, the Ukrainian media outlet Dzerkalo Tyzhnia reported that the Defense Ministry spent 33 million dollars to purchase winter uniforms for servicemen, which were actually summer uniforms.

Reznikov also came under pressure in January when Ukrainian media revealed an issue with food supplies for the military. According to the Ukrainian Investigative Project, the defense ministry purchased eggs at a price higher than the market value.

On 31 August, the Ukrainian media outlet Ukrainska Pravda reported that Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov would be removed from his post soon and might be replaced by Rustem Umerov.

Update: On the morning of 4 September, Oleksii Resnikov submitted his resignation to the Verkhovna Rada.

It was an honor to serve the Ukrainian people and work for the Ukrainian Army for the last 22 months,” Reznikov wrote on his Twitter. 

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