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Ukraine will replace Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and the head of its military spy agency, a senior lawmaker said, as part of a cabinet reshuffle following corruption scandals and ahead of an expected Russian offensive.
Reznikov, 56, would be moved to another ministerial job and replaced by Kyrylo Budanov, 37, who heads Ukraine's GUR military intelligence agency, David Arakhamia said on the Telegram messaging app.
"War dictates personnel policies," said Arakhamia, a close ally of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
There was no statement from Zelenskyy about replacing Reznikov, a former lawyer who became defense minister in November 2021, months before Russia launched its full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022.
Reznikov has helped secure Western weapons to support Ukrainian forces and his departure as defense minister would be the government's most high-profile change in a spate of resignations and dismissals following a corruption scandal late last month and the pledge of Zelenskyy for Ukraine to meet Western standards of cleanliness. governance.
The scandal involved food contracts that provided for the payment of grossly inflated prices. Amid public outcry, one of Reznikov's deputy ministers has been fired, while two other senior officials have also left their posts.
Arakhamia said Ukraine's "force" agencies - such as the defense ministry - should not be headed by wartime politicians, but by people with experience in defense or security.
"Kyrylo Budanov will head the defense ministry, which is absolutely logical in times of war," the lawmaker said.
Holding the rank of major general, Budanov has headed military intelligence since August 2020.
Ukraine is planning its counteroffensive but is awaiting the arrival of battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles from Western allies.
Arakhamia added that Reznikov would become minister of strategic industries, but did not say when the moves would be formalized.
Source: AL Jazzera