Ukraine: Volodymyr Zelensky displays his battle against corruption to reassure population and

Four ministers and five regional governors were dismissed or forced to resign in forty-eight hours after scandals linked to financial embezzlement. A demonstration of strength.

by Emmanuel Grynszpan, Philippe Jacqué (Brussels, European office) and Faustine Vincent

Resounding corruption scandals trigger dismissals and chain resignations in Ukraine. In less than forty-eight hours, the office of President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the eviction of four vice-ministers and five regional governors. Among them are the deputy director of the presidency, Kirilo Timochenko, the defense vice-minister, Viatcheslav Chapovalov, and the deputy prosecutor Oleksi Simonenko. The governors of the regions of Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporijia, kyiv, Soumy and Kherson, on the front line against the Russian troops, were also dismissed from power.

These cascading departures occur after the revelation, in a blow, of two affairs of financial embezzlement. The vice-minister of infrastructure, Vasyl Lozinsky, is accused of pocketing $ 400,000 (368,000 euros) of bribes on generators’ purchase contracts. He was dismissed on Sunday January 22. The Deputy Minister of Defense resigned after an investigation by the Ukrainian press accusing the Ministry of Defense of having paid food products, intended for the army, “two or three times more expensive” than the market price. The scam would reach 303 million euros.

For his part, Kirilo Timochenko did not give reason to his departure. He had attracted criticism after having used a SUV offered by the United States to evacuate victims in combat areas. He then publicly renounced this car and sent it to the front for humanitarian needs.

“Justice for all”

“Zelensky’s decisions testify to the key priorities of the State. (…) The president sees and hears the company. And he responds directly to a priority request for public opinion: justice for all,” commented On Twitter Mikhaïlo Podoliak, advisor to the president.

Despite the immense popularity from which Mr. Zelensky benefits, with support greater than 80 %, his administration is no exception to criticism of the scourge of corruption, endemic in Ukraine. However, the fight against financial embezzlement is an essential condition for the country to continue to benefit from the economic aid of its allies. Anxious to display a flawless desire in this area, the president therefore decides to make way clear, and proclaims it loud and clear so that the message is heard both inside the country, where corruption accusations bristle already a population already Troumed by war, outside, intended for international partners, whose financial, military and political support is crucial to Russia.

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/Media reports cited above.