Oleksiy Reznikov has told Kyiv Post he plans to continue working for the Armed Forces of Ukraine now that he has been replaced as the country’s defense minister.
“The most immediate plans are to start a number of projects to support the defense forces but in the status of an ordinary citizen,” he said on Monday morning, just a few hours after President Zelensky announced he was being removed.
Speaking of his time as defense minister, he added: “This page of my life's book is already written. It's time to turn over and write new pages."
He did not answer questions about a rumored future role as Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK.
As reported by Kyiv Post last week, Reznikov’s political future came into doubt once again, this time in the wake of a scandal involving the purchase of winter jackets for the military.
I have submitted my letter of resignation to Ruslan Stefanchuk @r_stefanchuk, Chairman of the Parliament of Ukraine @verkhovna_rada— Oleksii Reznikov (@oleksiireznikov) September 4, 2023
It was an honor to serve the Ukrainian people and work for the #UAarmy for the last 22 months, the toughest period of Ukraine’s modern history.
Speaking during his daily address on Sunday evening, President Zelensky said: “Oleksiy Reznikov has been through more than 550 days of full-scale war.
“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.
Reznikov considers the new contender for the head of the Ministry of Defense to be a "competent, experienced manager and politician."
He added: "The Ministry has a powerful team of deputy ministers and department heads. Together, they will definitely bring our victory closer!"
Reznikov promised to help Umerov 24/7 "at his request with information, opinions, my numerous contacts among partners."
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 galvanizing 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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