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Reznikov says Zelensky asked him to continue as defense minister
Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that he would remain in his post by the decision of President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Guardian reported on Feb. 15. Earlier, the ministry was beset by a high-profile corruption scandal that led to the firing of several top officials and put Reznikov's role in doubt.
"Yes, it was my president's decision," Reznikov replied when asked whether he plans to remain in the position of Defense Minister in the coming months, according to the Guardian.
Ukrainian newspaper ZN.UA reported on Jan. 21 that the Defense Ministry procured large amounts of food products for the military at inflated prices. The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine has since opened an investigation into the alleged scheme.
On Feb. 5, David Arakhamia, head of the Servant of the People party's faction in parliament, said that Reznikov would be replaced by the Defense Ministry's Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov but then announced the postponement of this decision.
Following the outbreak of the scandal, 497 officials in Ukraine's Armed Forces and Defense Ministry were fined, and 124 faced disciplinary liability following internal audits in 2022.
One of Reznikov's deputies resigned, and two others were dismissed. The minister later announced personnel changes and appointed three new deputies on Feb. 14.