The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence will replace Oleksiy Reznikov as defense minister in one of the most high-profile changes to the country’s leadership since Russia invaded a year ago, officials said Sunday.
David Arakhamia, the majority leader of Ukraine’s parliament, said on Sunday that the appointment of Kyrylo Budanov as defense minister was done to “strengthen military-industrial cooperation, which is absolutely logical.”
Reznikov said on Sunday that the decision ultimately rests with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has yet to publicly announce the change.
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“No official is in the chair forever. Not only that. You have to be ready that this stage will end,” Reznikov said at a news conference.
“I will do everything for our victory. My profession as a lawyer allows me to optimistically think that I will come up with an interesting project not only to win this war, but also to punish the military of the Russian Federation.”
The reshuffle comes amid a corruption scandal that hit the top echelons of Ukraine’s government last month.
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Several senior officials, including Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov and Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko, resigned in late January over allegations that they paid inflated prices for army food supplies.
The defense ministry denied the corruption allegations and said the resignation was made to ensure public confidence in the ministry.
Caitlin McFall of Fox News contributed to this report.