- Following allegations of corruption, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced in his nightly address on Sunday that Oleksii Reznikov has been removed as the country’s defense minister, and replaced by Rustem Umerov.1
- Without making reference to the corruption allegations, Zelenskyy claimed that after “550 days of full-scale war” the defense ministry was in need of “new approaches and other formats of interaction with both the military and society at large.2
- Reznikov submitted his resignation letter to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, on Monday. In it, he stated: "Pursuant to the decision by the Pres. of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, [I] have submitted a letter of resignation to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine," adding that he will soon submit a report on the activities he's undertaken.3
- Umerov is a Crimean Tatar born in Soviet Uzbekistan where his family was exiled under Joseph Stalin. He has reportedly been closely involved in negotiations with Russia, including on prisoner swaps and the Black Sea grain deal that collapsed earlier in the year.4
- Elsewhere, Ihor Kolomoisky — one of Ukraine's richest men and a key backer of Zelenskyy's 2019 presidential campaign — was arrested on charges of fraud and money laundering, the Security Service of Ukraine said on Saturday.5
- He is accused of laundering over half a billion Ukrainian hryvnia ($130.5M) out of the country between 2013 and 2020 and was ordered to be held in pre-trial detention until Oct. 31, unless bail in excess of 500 M Ukrainian hryvnia ($14M) is posted.5
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by The Spectator. Zelensky understands that if Ukraine is to join NATO or the EU, it has to clamp down on its problem of corruption that existed long before the war with Russia. He is rightly taking steps to eradicate this problem and should be commended for taking Ukraine in the right direction.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by CF. Despite Zelenskyy's public pronouncements, he himself has been at the center of corruption allegations to the tune of several hundred million dollars. How can he be taken seriously on corruption if he's also involved?