Top Ukrainian officials quit after Zelensky announces crackdown on corruption

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Top Ukrainian officials quit after Zelensky announces crackdown on corruption

  • Deputy head of the presidential office Kyrylo Tymoshenko resigned
  • Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov also left the government

Senior Ukrainian officials resigned after Volodymyr Zelensky announced a crackdown on corruption and pledged to launch a top-level staffing reshuffle.

Deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, has asked to be removed from office, according to an online copy of a decree signed by Zelensky and Tymoshenko’s own social media posts.

Neither gave a reason for his resignation.

Deputy Defense Minister Viacheslav Shapovalov also resigned, local media reported, alleging his departure was linked to a scandal involving the purchase of food for Ukraine’s armed forces.

Deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office Kyrylo Tymoshenko has asked to be removed from office (holds his resignation note)

Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko also resigned.

Tymoshenko joined the presidential office in 2019, having worked on Zelensky’s media and creative content strategy during his presidential campaign.

Zelensky had promised personnel changes in the government, regional administrations and security forces following allegations of corruption that emerged after the Russian invasion last February.

Tymoshenko last year was under investigation over his personal use of luxury cars. He was also among those responsible last September for the diversion of humanitarian aid worth more than $7 million destined for the southern region of Zaporizhzhia.

He denied all the allegations.

Zelensky vowed to root out corrupt officials in comments on Sunday, when a deputy minister was removed from office for being part of a network to embezzle budget funds. Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry later identified the sacked official as Vasyl Lozynsky, a deputy minister there.

In his nightly video address, Zelensky said Ukraine’s focus on war would not stop his government from fighting corruption.

Zelensky, who came to power in 2019 on an anti-establishment and anti-corruption platform, pointed to suspicions in energy and military procurement.

Zelensky had promised personnel changes in the government, regional administrations and security forces

Zelensky had promised personnel changes in the government, regional administrations and security forces

He said he wanted the deputy minister’s dismissal to send “a signal to anyone whose actions or behavior violate the principle of justice”.

“I want to be clear: there will be no going back to what was in the past,” Zelensky said.

Oleksandr Kubrakov, the infrastructure minister, said Lozynsky was removed from his post after Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency detained him while he received a $400,000 bribe for having helped repair contracts related to the restoration of infrastructure facilities battered by Russian missile strikes.

A statement from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine described Lozynsky as part of an “organized criminal group involved in the embezzlement of budget funds.”

He said his detectives were working to identify the other members of the group.

In other developments:

Russian shelling overnight killed one civilian and injured two others near the eastern town of Bakhmut, the epicenter of fighting in recent months, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Tuesday.

Russian forces also shelled nine towns and villages in the northern Sumy region, which borders Russia, killing a young woman and injuring three others, local governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy reported on Telegram.

He said the victims all lived in the same house, which suffered a direct artillery hit.