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Intelligence Chief Budanov to head Defense Ministry after upcoming reshuffle

by Asami Terajima February 5, 2023 10:47 PM 2 min read
The head of military intelligence Kyrylo Budanov at his office on Jan. 20, 2023, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo by Serhiy Morgunov for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov will be replaced by Defense Ministry's Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov, lawmaker David Arakhamia said on Feb. 5.

"War dictates personnel policy. Time and circumstances call for strengthening and regrouping," Arakhamia, head of the governing Servant of the People faction and Ukraine's chief negotiator with Russia, said in a Telegram post.

Arakhamia said that Reznikov would remain in the government as the Minister for Strategic Industries, overseeing Ukraine's defense sector, which the lawmaker described as a "logical" decision given his participation in Ramstein meetings and expertise.

Arakhamia did not mention who would be replacing Budanov as military intelligence head.

Neither Reznikov nor Budanov had reacted to the report by the publication time.

Lawmaker Mariana Bezuhla, deputy head of the parliament's national security committee, said on Feb. 5 that the issues are to be discussed this week.

Earlier in the day, Reznikov, who took his position in November 2021, said he was ready to resign if President Volodymyr Zelensky made such a decision.

Kyiv’s reshuffling comes after a major corruption scandal rocked the Defense Ministry.

NABU opens case into alleged corruption in Defense Ministry procurement

Ukrainian newspaper ZN.UA released a report on Jan. 21 that the Defense Ministry was purchasing some food for the military two to three times higher than those at Kyiv grocery stores, citing the ministry’s food procurement contract.

Ukraine's parliamentary committee on national security, defense, and intelligence has summoned top ministry officials to address the allegations.

Reznikov called the report false and asked the Security Service to look into the people involved in spreading the information.

However, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine opened an investigation into the alleged scheme.

Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov was later dismissed. A court arrested Shapovalov for 60 days on Feb. 2.

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