Zelensky dismisses Defense Minister with corruption on the horizon
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced this Sunday the upcoming replacement of his Defense Minister, Olexi Reznikov, with Rustem Umerov. “I have decided to replace the Defense Minister of Ukraine,” Zelensky said in his evening address to the nation. “Olexi Reznikov has lived through more than 550 days of war. “I think the ministry needs new approaches and new ways of interacting with the military and with civil society in general.”
Réznikov's figure had already been in the wire last February, when he was linked to several cases of corruption in public contracts, although he ultimately remained in office. Recently, he has been associated with a scandal related to a military supply contract signed with a Turkish company.
This news interferes with Zelensky's promises to strengthen the fight against corruption, an endemic problem in Ukraine, in compliance with the conditions imposed by the European Union to maintain Kyiv's status as a candidate for accession.
Zelensky wants to counter critics who believe that the counteroffensive against the Russians is progressing too slowly
The news comes when the Ukrainian army's counteroffensive has managed to penetrate deeply into the Russian defense lines in southern Ukraine, according to one of its main generals in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian. “'We are right now between the first and second line of Russian defense,' says Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, responsible for the counteroffensive in the south,” he explains in the interview, which takes place just a few days after Ukraine announced a symbolic victory. with the recovery of the town of Robotine.
Volodymyr Zelensky's government is embarking on a communications campaign to counter critics who believe the counteroffensive against the Russians is moving too slowly.
“We are now in the phase of destroying the enemy units in charge of protecting Russian troops when they retreat behind their second line of defense,” the general said. Tarnavsky led the troops that recaptured the city of Kherson a year ago.
According to this general, Moscow's forces “are simply waiting for the Ukrainian army. The enemy is depleting its reserves, not only in Ukraine, but throughout Russia. Sooner or later, the Russians are going to run out of their best soldiers. This will give us the opportunity to attack them with an advantage and greater speed.”
The soldier has also explained that the Ukrainian army has advanced slowly in the counteroffensive, because "we have spent more time than expected clearing the land that was occupied by the Russians."
“Unfortunately, the evacuation of the wounded has been difficult for us. And this has also complicated our advance,” says the general while admitting that Kyiv has suffered significant losses. “The closer we get to victory, the harder it is. Because? Because unfortunately we lose the strongest and the best soldiers.” “Now we must concentrate on certain areas and finish the job”
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