Zelensky Removes Six Deputy Defense Ministers – American Faith

The move is part of Ukraine’s investigations into corruption scandals.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has fired six deputy defense ministers following ongoing corruption investigations.
  • Rostyslav Zamlynsky Hanna Maliar, Vitalii Deyneha, Denys Sharapov, Andriy Shevchenko, as well as the State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense Kostiantyn Vashchenk were removed from their positions.
  • The information came from Taras Melnychuk of Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers on Telegram.
  • The reason for their firing remains unknown, although the Ukrainian government has been investigating allegations of corruption within its military.
  • Ukraine’s defense department changes follow its recent capture of Klishchiivka from Russian troops.
  • Addressing the acquisition of Klishchiivka prior to being fired, Maliar said, “The enemy is trying with all his might to regain lost positions. Therefore, our fighters hold back the enemy´s attacks there and are entrenched at the achieved frontiers.”
GRAFT AND CORRUPTION IN UKRAINE’S DEFENSE SECTOR:
  • The latest removals from the defense sector follow the dismissal of Defense Minister Oleskii Reznikov just weeks ago.
  • Reznikov was allegedly involved in financial mismanagement and graft, American Faith reported.
  • Around $980 million worth of weapon contracts have been delayed, with some payments for these contracts having disappeared.
  • Inadequate vetting processes or unethical weapon dealers may be to blame.
  • Due to corruption and bribery concerns, Zelenksy proposed viewing corruption as treason, erupting fears of abuse of power.
BACKGROUND:
  • Former alleged Zelensky ally and Ukrainian billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky was arrested on fraud and money laundering charges.
  • According to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Kolomoisky is a “de facto owner of a large financial and industrial group” that attempted to launder 500 million Ukrainian hryvnia ($13.5 million U.S. dollars) by “transferring it abroad, while using the infrastructure of banking institutions controlled by him.”
  • The U.S. State Department sanctioned Kolomoisky and his family in 2021, saying that the billionaire was involved in “corrupt acts that undermined rule of law and the Ukrainian public’s faith in their government’s democratic institutions.”