Zelenskyy Fires Six Defense Ministers As Corruption Scandals Mount

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently fired six deputy defense ministers two weeks after the dismissal of Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, who was involved in a corruption scandal, as Ukraine continues its war against Russia.

According to the permanent representative of the Cabinet of Ministers, Taras Melnychuk, deputy defense ministers Hanna Maliar, Vitali Deyneha, and Denys Sharapov, as well as the state secretary of the Minister of Defense, Kostiantyn Vashchenko, were fired.

Melnychuk did not provide an explanation as to why the deputy defense ministers were dismissed, but the Ukrainian government has been investigating accusations of corruption in the military relating to the purchasing of equipment.

Reznikov was recently fired for the procurement of military jackets at three times their usual cost, according to Breitbart News. The former defense minister denied any allegations but resigned.

Zelenskyy’s move for a change in scenery in his defense department comes a day after Ukraine’s military said it captured the village of Klishchiivka from Russian troops after months of vicious battles.

“The enemy is trying with all his might to regain lost positions,” Maliar recently said before she was fired. “Therefore, our fighters hold back the enemy´s attacks there and are entrenched at the achieved frontiers.”

Zelenskyy’s move to fire the six deputy defense ministers comes ahead of his planned visit to the U.S., where he will address the United Nations in New York, and later meet with President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C., to plead for more money, despite having already received billions of dollars from Congress.

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the meeting between Biden and Zelenskyy will mark the third between the two, adding that Biden is interested in “strengthening” Ukraine’s sovereignty, as reported by Fox News.

“[Biden’s] eager to use this trip to advance U.S. interests on a range of issues from mobilizing financial resources for the global south for development and infrastructure, to galvanizing cooperation to tackle the climate crisis, to strengthening global support for Ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity as it defends itself against Russia’s brutal invasion,” Sullivan said.

To date, the U.S. has provided Ukraine with over $13 billion amid the country’s high inflation and ever-increasing national debt. Biden recently asked Congress to provide Ukraine with an additional $24 million in military aid.

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