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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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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Comments (4)

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Hugh
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To date Mr. Reznikov has NOT been implicated in any corruption schemes. Rather it is that such schemes were manifesting (even if many are still being investigated & as of yet unproven).

Regardless, Mr. Zelensky felt he needed to send a message to both the Ukrainian people & Ukraine's allies.

That is his decision, and probably a valid one, even if Mr. Reznikov was not involved.

In the meantime Mr. Reznikov served his country well working with allies to get Ukraine the weapons it needs to defend itself. He has offered his help in continue to do so.

Kudos to him for it. Slava Ukraini!

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Imokru2
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The President decides on who he wants to fill his various departments. Parliament then votes on those choices. That’s democracy.

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Arthur Turnbull
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We in the U.K. were very happy with Mr Prystaiko and his removal was a very rare mistake by Mr Zelensky. Appointing the Weasel Reznikov as a replacement would be another terrible decision. We do not send defective arms to you, so please do not send us a defective Ambassador.

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Cedar
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President Zelensky removed from the UK Mr. Prystaiko, an ambassador who was very well thought of here. He was a polite, calm, reasonable, professional, effective & charming communicator, who influenced British public opinion first in the direction of supporting, then in continuing to support, Ukraine. He was doing an excellent job until President Zelensky removed him out of what looks like personal pique.
I don’t think giving the ambassadorial role to someone implicated in corruption within the armed forces, is a good idea. Ukraine’s enemies always point to corruption as a reason for not supporting its struggle. “You have no heat, & cannot afford good food, because your government is putting millions in the secret accounts of Ukrainian politicians” is a powerful piece of Russian propaganda.
The UK needs an ambassador with an impeccable reputation. Either Mr Reznikov knew people were profiteering from supplying Ukrainian troops with poor quality equipment, in which case he was complicit, or he didn’t, which means, at the least, he was incompetent. Bringing back Mr Prystaiko would be a good move, and as for Defence, it will be important to ensure that a new minister can both function as a war leader, but also, get along well with allies who are arming Ukraine despite increasing reluctance amongst their populations - a reluctance which will increase as the winter approaches, & politicians blame Ukraine for the failures in their own domestic management.

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