Zelensky announces the appointment of a new Minister of Defense of Ukraine, after 18 months of war with Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Sunday that he had decided to replace Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov with politician Rustam Omirov.

Zelensky wrote on Telegram that Reznikov “has been through more than 550 days of total war. I think the ministry needs new methods and other forms of interaction with the army and with society as a whole.”

Zelensky said he expects the Verkhovna Rada to approve the decision this week, given the voting body’s knowledge of Omerov. He did not explain the reasons for his replacement.

The decision came less than a month after Zelensky’s announcement Expulsion of those responsible for military conscription in every region of the country, citing allegations of corruption that he said may amount to treason.

“This system should be run by people who know exactly what war is and why cynicism and bribery in wartime is considered high treason,” he wrote on social media at the time.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov speaks during a press conference on August 28, 2023 in Kiev, Ukraine.

Andriy Zhyhaylo/Obozrevatel/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

Reznikov was appointed Minister of Defense Late 2021This was a few months before Russia launched its invasion of the country. Ukrainians initially criticized their government leaders for not warning the public that an invasion was imminent.

Reznikov told CBS News earlier this year It wasn’t an oversight, it was a defensive strategy.

“We were ready. But we tried to stop the panic in our streets,” he said.

Zelensky ended Sunday’s announcement on an optimistic note. “Autumn is the time for strengthening,” he wrote. “Glory to Ukraine!”

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