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Ukraine’s Youth and Sports minister submits his resignation

by Dinara Khalilova November 8, 2023 4:08 PM 3 min read
Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine Vadym Gutzeit speaks during an interview with AFP in Kyiv on April 11, 2023, amid the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. (Sergeu Chuzavkov/AFP via Getty Images)
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Youth and Sports Minister Vadym Gutzeit submitted his resignation to the Ukrainian parliament, Chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk reported on Nov. 8.

According to Stefanchuk, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, will soon consider Gutzeit’s resignation.

Commenting on his decision, Gutzeit said he wants to concentrate on his work at Ukraine’s National Olympic Committee, which he has headed since November last year.

Gutzeit, a Ukrainian Olympic champion saber fencer, has been the Youth and Sports Minister since March 2020 and has combined the two positions for almost a year.

“During this year, there was a lot of manipulation regarding my powers, the decisions made, and the combination of these positions,” the official said on Facebook.

Gutzeit was also the chief of the Ukrainian Fencing Federation from 2017 to March 2023.

On Nov. 7, Ukrainian lawmakers Yaroslav Zhelezniak and Oleksii Honcharenko said via their Telegram channels that Gutzeit might be dismissed soon.

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The Ukrainian media outlet LB.ua wrote in October that Gutzeit had been preparing to leave his position and the potential candidate for replacement, Anton Nikulin, had already passed the job interview. Nikulin currently heads a sports department at the Lviv City Council.

Gutzeit might have been involved in the case of alleged embezzlement of over Hr 2.2 million ($60,000) of state funds when he was the head of the youth and sports department at the Kyiv City Council from 2018 to 2020, Hromadske reported, citing court materials.

According to Hromadske, the department was purchasing boats for Kyiv athletes from an entrepreneur who was also a coach of a children's sports school controlled by the Kyiv City Council.

Commenting on the reports, Gutzeit's lawyer, Pavlo Nasadchuk, told the Ukrainska Pravda online newspaper that Gutzeit hadn't been involved in the case as a suspect and Ukrainian authorities hadn't brought any charges against the official.

"On my recommendation, the department (of the Kyiv City Council) conducted its own inspection... And at that time, it was established that the procedures (procurement) were carried out properly," reportedly said Nasadchuk.

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