Top Ukrainian officials set off in crackdown on corruption

The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office resigned on Tuesday after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to carry out a staff reshuffle amid allegations of high-level corruption during the war with Russia.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko asked to be relieved of his duties, according to an online copy of a decree signed by Zelenskyy and Tymoshenko’s own social media posts.

Neither gave a reason for the resignation.

Deputy Defense Minister Viacheslav Shapovalov also resigned, local media reported, claiming his departure was linked to a scandal involving the purchase of food for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko also resigned.

Tymoshenko joined the presidential office in 2019, after working on Zelenskyy’s media and creative content strategy during his presidential campaign.

Zelenskyy had promised personnel changes in the government, regional administrations and security forces following corruption allegations that surfaced after the invasion of Russia last February.

Tymoshenko last year was under investigation in connection with his personal use of luxury cars. He was also among the officials linked last September to the embezzlement of more than $7 million worth of humanitarian aid destined for the southern region of Zaporizhzhia.

He has denied all the accusations.

Media reports have linked at least one official departure to a scandal involving the purchase of food for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.File Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images

Zelenskyy vowed to oust the corrupt officials in comments on Sunday, when a deputy minister was sacked for being part of a network to embezzle budget funds. Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry later identified the fired official as Vasyl Lozynsky, a deputy minister there.

In his late-night video address, Zelenskyy said Ukraine’s focus on the war would not prevent his government from tackling corruption.

Zelenskyy, who came to power in 2019 on an anti-establishment and anti-corruption platform, flagged suspicions in the areas of energy and military procurement.

He said that with the dismissal of the vice minister he intended to send “a signal to all those whose actions or behaviors violate the principle of justice.”

“I want to be clear: there will be no going back to what used to be in the past,” Zelenskyy said.

Oleksandr Kubrakov, the infrastructure minister, said Lozynsky was relieved of his duties after Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency detained him while receiving a $400,000 bribe for helping arrange contracts related to restoring infrastructure facilities hit by hacking attacks. Russian missiles.

A statement from the National Anti-Corruption Office of Ukraine described Lozynsky as part of “an organized criminal group involved in the embezzlement of budget funds.”

He said his detectives were working to identify the other members of the group.

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