Policy

Zelensky Heads Into New War, Wave of Exclusion Hits Ukrainian Officials


Unenviable moments for Ukraine’s president, faced with two wars; one military against Russia and the other corruption targeting the surrounding circle.

Two days ago, Volodymyr Zelensky pledged not to turn a blind eye to corruption, a chronic problem in Ukraine, and to make key decisions about its elimination this week.

Ukraine’s crisis lies in reports of high-level corruption, including dubious methods of military procurement despite officials bolstering national unity to counter Russia’s military operation.

Kiev is suffering from the approaching first year of the Russo-Ukrainian war, since President Vladimir Putin launched a military operation against Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Exciting resignation

Although Zelensky’s latest pledge has not been linked to Tuesday’s resignation of deputy director of the Ukrainian presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the timing has seemed exciting.

Tymoshenko said he asked President Zelensky on Monday to be relieved of his duties, Reuters reported.

“I thank President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine for the confidence and opportunity to do good deeds every day and every minute,” Tymoshenko wrote on Telegram messaging app.

Ukraine has a long history of endemic corruption and fragile governance, with the EU demanding anti-corruption reforms as one of its key requirements for Ukraine’s EU accession after Kiev was granted candidate status last year.

On Monday, Zelensky said in a video address, “This week will be the time to make appropriate decisions. Decisions have already been prepared. I don’t want it to be published at the moment, but it will be fair.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was elected, by an overwhelming majority, in 2019, following pledges to change the way the former Soviet state is run.

Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau detained the deputy minister for municipal, regional and infrastructure development, Vassil Losyansky, days earlier.

Losyansky is accused of taking a $400,000 bribe to buy generators amid Russia’s harsh attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

In his video message, Zelensky also addressed media reports about excessive food purchases for soldiers, where it was again said that civil servants had made a fortune for themselves.

According to official information, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov is scheduled to address the parliament in Kiev on the issue.

Meanwhile, Zelensky announced on Sunday the dismissal of Prosecutor Iryna Venediktova and the head of Ukraine’s security service, Ivan Bakanov, after accusing several of their staff of treason.

Corruption is a widespread problem in Ukraine, as it is in many countries of the former Soviet Union.

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