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Presidential decree allows military officials to become First Deputy Minister of Defense

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 13, 2023 9:47 PM 1 min read
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President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on Feb.13 allowing military personnel with the rank of lieutenant general or vice admiral to be appointed as the Defense Ministry's first deputy minister.

Previous legislation indicated that only a civilian was permitted to become the defense minister.

On Feb. 5, lawmaker David Arakhamia said intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov will replace Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov. However, a change in leadership has not yet taken place.

Arakhamia, head of the governing Servant of the People faction, said that Reznikov would remain in government, overseeing Ukraine's defense sector.

Earlier on Feb. 13, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said there will be new deputy ministers within the Defense Ministry, although he has not yet provided any names.

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

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.

Intelligence Chief Budanov to head Defense Ministry after upcoming reshuffle
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