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Defense minister wants to introduce military ombudsman position

by The Kyiv Independent news desk September 10, 2023 1:34 AM 2 min read
Rustem Umerov in Kyiv on May 9, 2022. (Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Newly-appointed Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said on Sept. 9 that he plans to introduce a new position of military ombudsman who would "deal with the military needs of our soldiers."

A military ombudsman would ensure fair treatment of concerns raised by the Ukrainian Armed Forces members and defend their rights when they face issues.

Umerov stressed that Ukrainian soldiers have the right to be properly equipped to win the war while assuring everything they need would be purchased.

Ukraine's parliament voted to appoint Rustem Umerov as the new defense minister after Oleksii Reznikov's resignation on Sept. 6. Umerov was backed by an overwhelming majority, with 338 lawmakers voting in support and one abstaining.

When he was appointed, Umerov announced his intention to introduce an electronic military ID card in Ukraine and launch a unified register of conscripts, saying it was crucial to make all processes of military medical commissions digital.  

"The task is to digitize all processes, launch a single register of conscripts, which will eliminate any corruption risks," he said.

Reznikov has held the post of Defense Minister since November 2021. Since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, he has been vital in coordinating military aid from foreign allies, including at multiple Ramstein summits.

However, Reznikov's tenure at the Defense Ministry has been marred by several scandals related to procuring equipment and supplies for Ukrainian soldiers.

Who is Rustem Umerov, Ukraine’s soon-to-be defense minister?
When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Sept. 3 that Rustem Umerov was Ukraine’s soon-to-be defense minister, he said the former MP “needs no introduction.” Days before, Umerov had been rumored to be the main candidate to replace Oleksiy Reznikov, who had held the post since Novemb…
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