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Ukraine's parliament approves Reznikov's resignation as defense minister

by The Kyiv Independent news desk September 5, 2023 2:29 PM 2 min read
Ukraine's former defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, speaks during a press conference on Aug. 28, 2023, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Andriy Zhyhaylo/Obozrevatel/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has approved Oleksii Reznikov's resignation as defense minister, lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak said on Sept. 5.

The decision reportedly received 327 votes.

President Volodymyr Zelensky announced his decision to dismiss Reznikov on on Sept. 3, after which Reznikov then submitted his resignation to the Ukrainian parliament on Sept. 4.

According to Zhelezniak, Rustem Umerov, formerly the chairperson of Ukraine's State Property Fund and the individual chosen by Zelensky to replace Reznikov as the defense minister, will be appointed on Sept. 6.

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…

Reznikov has held the post of Defense Minister since November 2021. Since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, he has played a vital role 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 the procurement of equipment and supplies for Ukrainian soldiers.

In August, Ukrainian media Dzerkalo Tyzhnia reported that the Defense Ministry spent $33 million on "winter" clothing for the military from a Turkish company in September, which was actually summer clothing.

The Defense Ministry and Reznikov also faced scrutiny in January when Ukrainian media discovered a major issue with food supply procurement for soldiers.

The ministry was found to have purchased eggs at Hr 17 ($0.5) each, while in Kyiv’s grocery stores, the price is around Hr 7 ($0.2) per egg, according to the Nashi Groshi investigative project.

Following that scandal, Ukrainian media reported in February that Zelensky had decided to dismiss Reznikov and would likely replace him with military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov.

On Feb. 15, Reznikov said that Zelensky had decided to keep him on, citing Reznikov's personal relationships with Ukraine's defense partners as one of the main reasons.

“I believe that the ministry needs new approaches and other formats of interaction both with the military and with society as a whole,” Zelensky said on Sept. 3, in reference to his decision to dismiss Reznikov.

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