Oleksiy Reznikov has been removed from his position as defense minister, with President Zelensky calling for “new approaches” a year and a half into Russia's invasion.

“Oleksiy Reznikov has been through more than 550 days of full-scale war," Zelensky said in his daily evening address.

“I believe that the ministry needs new approaches and other formats of interaction with both the military and society at large.”

He nominated Rustem Umerov, a Crimean Tatar who has been head of the State Property Fund since last year, to replace Reznikov – subject to approval by Ukraine's parliament. News of Reznikov's removal comes with Kyiv's counteroffensive underway and Ukraine's general push against corruption in response to EU requests.

As reported by Kyiv Post last week, Reznikov’s political future has been in doubt once again, this time in the wake of a scandal involving the purchase of winter jackets for the military.


The latest scandal was exposed by Ukrainian journalist Yuriy Nikolov who, citing sources at the State Customs Service of Ukraine, reported that the Ministry of Defense had acquired 233,000 winter jackets for $20 million from a Turkish firm.

Documentation from customs regarding one shipment unveiled a startling increase in cost for a batch of 4,900 jackets en route from Turkey to Ukraine. 

The price had tripled, soaring from $142,000 to $421,000 (a per-unit rise from $29 to $86). Furthermore, it was  that the jackets, despite being marketed as winter wear, turned out to be lightweight.

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Kyiv has already signed several 10-year security agreements with NATO countries that outline long-term Western support for Ukraine in the face of a Russian invasion now in its third year.

Reznikov, a 57-year-old lawyer with little military experience, usually seen in a green fleece, has become one of the best-known faces of the country's war effort.

After helping hold back Russia's advance in the early months of the war, he spent much of his time in office galvanising support from Kyiv's allies.

Over time, he persuaded them to supply Ukraine with more and more Western-made weaponry including US Patriot air defence systems, heavy tanks and howitzers.


Most recently he led efforts to secure US fighter jets.

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