The closest aide to the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has resigned ahead of an expected reorganization of the government.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office, thanked Zelensky for “giving us the opportunity to do good every minute of every day.”
Zelensky has been embroiled in scandals involving the use of luxury cars, which he denies.
Mr Zelensky has suggested that other senior officials will also leave the government in the coming days.
Ukrainian leaders have announced a series of personnel changes in the government, local authorities and security services.
Local media reported that the departure of Tymoshenko, who oversaw regional policy and was involved in Mr Zelensky’s election campaign, could be part of a presidential reshuffle.
But the reorganization came amid a crackdown on corruption in Ukraine. This is one of the EU’s main demands for the country to move forward with its EU membership application. Authorities have banned all state civil servants from leaving Ukraine except for authorized business trips.
On Monday, Ukraine’s deputy minister for infrastructure, Vasyl Lozinskyi, was fired and detained by police for accepting bribes worth $400,000. Lozinskyi denies the charges.
Ukraine has a history of corruption and was ranked 122nd out of 180 countries in the 2021 Corrupt Countries Ranking by Transparency International.
In a speech on Sunday, Zelensky pledged that “there will be no return to the way things were in the past for various people close to state institutions.”
And Mr. Zelenskiy’s People’s Service Party leader, David Alakamia, has promised that corrupt officials could face prison terms.
Officials at all levels have been issuing constant warnings through official and informal channels to focus on the war, help the victims, cut down on bureaucracy and end shady business deals.” Many of them listened, but unfortunately some didn’t,” he said in a statement posted to Telegram.
If the “convenience of civilization” does not work, it will be done according to wartime laws. This applies both to the recent purchase of a generator and to the new scandal at the Ministry of Defense. ”
Minister of Defense Reznikov has also come under fire after reports that he signed a contract to purchase military food at a high price. Reznikov claimed it was a “technical mistake”.
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