Zelensky fires his six defense ministers without explanation, weeks after letting top military leader go amid graft and corruption allegations
- The six deputy defense chiefs were abruptly fired without explanation
- Ukraine says decision was made at cabinet meeting on Monday
- This comes after Zelensky fired his top defense chief over corruption allegations.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fired his six deputy defense ministers without explanation weeks after firing his top defense minister.
Ukraine’s cabinet said the decision was made today, according to a report revealing the mass dismissal.
No explanation was given as to why Vladimir Gavrilov, 65, Rostyslav Zamlynskii, 47, Hanna Maliar, 45, Denis Sharapov, 50, Vitalii Deineha and Kostiantyn Vashchenko, 50, were all fired.
But the move comes just two weeks after Zelensky fired his wartime defense chief amid corruption allegations.
Oleksii Reznikov’s tenure as Ukraine’s wartime defense chief was marred by serious allegations of corruption, which he denied.
He was accused of signing a deal with a Turkish company for winter uniforms that was “tripled” in value.
President Zelensky (pictured) has cracked down on wartime corruption, recently pushing to treat the issue criminally as if it were treason.
Ukrainian journalists also proved that military uniforms could have been purchased at a significantly reduced price.
He then said in response to the allegations: “I urge everyone to treat the information more critically and responsibly, because it misleads society and, even worse, it misleads our partners, because “On the outside it looks like it’s a disaster.”
“Everything was done in accordance with the public procurement law… (and ‘via tender procedures’).
Reznikov was also mired in a high-profile corruption investigation, which alleged that Ukraine’s Defense Ministry signed a food and catering contract worth 13 billion hryvnias (£278 million), extremely swollen.
Although Reznikov did not personally sign that agreement, critics said he was ultimately responsible for it and highlighted his zero-tolerance policy toward corruption.
He then admitted that the anti-corruption services of his ministry had “failed in their task”.
Ukraine has cracked down hard on wartime corruption, with President Zelensky moving in recent weeks to equate it with treason, while a growing number of Ukrainians believe he is responsible for persistent corruption in the country.
Former Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov (pictured) was mired in multiple corruption allegations
Zelensky began the process of changing the law after the discovery of yet another case of wartime corruption, in which two senior Ukrainian officials were named as suspects in an embezzlement scheme involving the purchase of aid humanitarian.
“I don’t know if Ukrainian MPs will support my idea, but I will definitely propose it… We need to implement systemic changes. This is the way to fight corruption,” Zelensky said.
“I have set myself a task and Ukrainian lawmakers will be offered my proposals to equate corruption with high treason in wartime.
“I understand that such a weapon cannot function constantly in society, but in war I think it will be useful.”
The crackdown on corruption comes as Ukraine attempts to join the European Union.
The EU has put in place a seven-step plan for Ukraine, which must be followed if it wants to join the EU.
This involves strengthening anti-corruption efforts, combating money laundering and enacting laws reducing the power of oligarchs in the country.
MailOnline has contacted the Ukrainian Defense Ministry for comment.