President Zelensky fires Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii ReznikovFrom CNN's Josh Pennington and Jonny Hallam
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, saying the ministry needs "new approaches" as the war with Russia enters its 19th month.
Zelensky nominated Rustem Umerov, the former people's deputy of Ukraine, to become the new defense minister."This week, parliament will be asked to make a personnel decision. ... I have decided to replace the minister of defense of Ukraine. Oleksii Reznikov has gone through more than 550 days of full-scale war," the Ukrainian leader said.
"The Verkhovna Rada (legislature) of Ukraine knows this person well, and Mr. Umerov does not need any additional introductions," Zelensky said. "I expect parliament to support this candidate."
Key context: Reznikov's removal comes in the wake of a number of corruption scandals involving Ukraine's Ministry of Defense. While Reznikov has not been implicated in any of them, the scandals have still been seen to damage him by association.
Zelensky has said rooting out corruption across Ukraine's government is vital to Kyiv's chances of attaining long-awaited membership in NATO and the European Union.
The Ukrainian president made cracking down on internal scandals a central issue in his campaign for office.
On Saturday, one of Ukraine's most powerful oligarchs and a key Zelensky supporter, Ihor Kolomoisky, was arrested as part of a fraud investigation.