Ukraine’s new defence minister cleans house | EUROtoday

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Six Ukrainian deputy defence ministers had been dismissed on Monday, September 18, a clear sweep that comes simply two weeks after a new minister has taken the reins. The combat in opposition to corruption is just not the one reason behind this upheaval in considered one of Ukraine’s most strategic ministries. FRANCE 24 takes a more in-depth take a look at the components behind the overhaul.

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All six of Ukraine’s deputy defence ministers had been dismissed on Monday, September 18, by new Defence Minister Rustem Umerov, in response to a message posted on Telegram by the Ukrainian authorities’s secretary basic, Oleh Nemchinov. Even Hanna Maliar, the high-profile deputy minister who had held her place since 2021, didn’t escape the purge.

No official purpose was given for this choice, however “a complete overhaul is underway”, reported media outlet Oukraïnska Pravda, citing an nameless authorities supply.

Cleaning out the stables

The stories counsel that the dismissals are a part of Roustem Umerov’s effort to scrub out the stables following the departure of Oleksiy Reznikov, his predecessor who’s now mired in a collection of corruption scandals.

Ukraine’s defence ministry has lengthy had a fame as a hotbed of corruption, and Oleksiy Reznikov was primarily accused of not having accomplished sufficient to place an finish to the issue. Roustem Umerov, a loyal follower of President Volodymyr Zelensky who was appointed to the put up at first of September, is probably going attempting to make a reputation for himself and mark a new departure.

Ryhor Nizhnikau, a specialist in Ukrainian politics on the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, is just not completely satisfied by this justification for the purge: “This is not about anti-corruption. Some of them came in recently with good reputations and were given tasks that had to do with fighting corruption.”

Others, like Hanna Maliar, have by no means been severely accused of dipping into the coffers, whilst their each transfer is carefully scrutinised as a result of high-profile nature of their positions. “Hanna Maliar was the face of the ministry, and in some unspecified time in the future was a very good candidate for the position,” says Nizhnikau.

Satisfying the West

“[Hanna Maliar] was considered as a possible challenge from the inside that Umerov got rid of,” adds the analyst, for whom the sweep was above all a show of political strength. “Umerov simply wants to show that Zelensky has given him ‘carte blanche’ to change things, and that’s what he does by reshuffling the ministry,” says Nizhnikau. The new deputy ministers have not yet been officially named.

The move can also be seen as a gift from Umerov to Zelensky, who is due to address the UN in person for the first time since Russia’s invasion on Tuesday, September 20. “Zelensky … can now say at the UN assembly: ‘Look at all we are doing to fight against corruption’,” says Nizhnikau.

At the identical time, Volodymyr Zelensky can use the reshuffle to name on Ukraine’s donors to be extra affected person. He “should buy extra time with donors, as a result of he can say that they now have to attend to see the outcomes” of the new appointments, notes Nizhnikau.

However, the clear sweep can also be a dangerous choice within the context of the continuing counteroffensive in southern Ukraine. Oumerov arrived on the defence ministry with none navy expertise, and can now be with out the principle collaborators who might have defined the workings of the ministry to him. “It’s nonetheless a bit of a worrying sign: the first thing this guy with no prior military experience (Umerov) does is firing everyone who could have helped him to learn the tasks of his job,” Nizhnikau says.

There can also be the necessity to practice the new deputy ministers who can be appointed. The transition interval is prone to gradual the decision-making course of within the ministry of prime strategic significance to the battle effort – specifically, it’s answerable for dealing with the cargo of ammunition and different navy tools to the entrance.

This article has been translated from the unique in French.