Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky fires top-level officials in anticorruption drive

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Ukraine President
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky (Source: Facebook Zelenskiy Official)

Jakarta, IO – Amid a war, Ukraine government has been rocked by corruption scandal which led President Volodymyr Zelensky to fire several senior Ukrainian officials. There are at least 15 top-level officials who have been dismissed or resigned from their positions for allegedly embezzling the state’s military budget, reported the Guardian, Wednesday (25/1).

Over the past week, there have been five officials who are being investigated for alleged involvement in corruption. They are Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko and Deputy Presidential Chief of Staff Kyrylo Tymoshenko. Two other officials who resigned were the Deputy Minister of Regional Development Vyacheslav Negoda and Deputy Minister for Communities and Territories Development Ivan Lukerya.

The shake-up began when Ukraine’s Deputy Minister for Infrastructure Vasyl Lozinsky was detained by anti-corruption investigators and dismissed from his post. Lozynkiy was fired after being caught accepting US$400,000 in bribe to facilitate a military procurement contract at inflated prices. Investigators also found US$38,000 worth of cash in his office.

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According to Zelensky, Ukraine’s focus on war will not stop the government’s commitment to eradicate corruption. The anti-corruption drive is very important because Ukraine aspires to become a member of the European Union. One of the requirements is to uphold transparency, rule of law and other democratic principles. (bp)