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Ukraine’s President Zelenskiy Announces Intent to Replace Defence Minister

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has announced that he intends to sack the country’s defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov, from his spot and replace him with the head of Ukraine’s main privatisation fund.

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The decision was revealed in the Ukrainian president’s nightly video address to the nation, followed by Russian drones hitting the Danube River port infrastructure in Odesa’s southern region. 

Mr Reznikov, who was named defence minister in November 2021, has helped secure billions of dollars of Western military aid to support the war effort but has been dogged by graft allegations surrounding his minister that he described as smears. 

“I’ve decided to replace the Minister of Defence of Ukraine,” Mr Zelenskiy said. 

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“Oleksii Reznikov has been through more than 550 days of full-scale war.

“I believe the ministry needs new approaches and other formats of interaction with both the military and society as a whole.”

The change of defence minister must be approved by parliament but is likely to be supported by a majority of lawmakers in the Verkhovna Rada. 

Mr Zelenskiy said he expected the parliament to approve Umerov’s appointment.

On Sunday, Mr Zelenskiy also revealed there would be a “very important agreement” in training pilots in France after a conversation with the French president, Emmanuel Macron

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