After the wave of resignations, will anything change at the top of the Ukrainian government?

The Ukrainian government confirmed on Tuesday the resignations of several high-ranking officials following allegations of large-scale corruption, in what it is billing as the biggest scandal since the start of the Russian invasion.

About a dozen officials have left their posts after a huge political shake-up over allegations and investigations into cases ranging from corruption, mismanagement of aid funds for food purchases, embezzlement, driving of expensive cars while ordinary people suffer in war conditions.

A senior presidential adviser and four deputy ministers – including two defense officials, along with five regional governors – were forced out of their posts. Among the regional governors who have resigned are also officials who oversee regions that have seen intense fighting, including the regions of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, where Russian forces have recently reported gains.

Referring to the announcement by a senior government official, Oleg Nemchinov, international reports list the following:

  • Deputy Prosecutor General Oleskiy Symonenko
  • Deputy Minister for the Development of Communities and Territories Ivan Lukeryu
  • Deputy Minister for Development of Communities and Territories Vyacheslav Negoda
  • Deputy Minister of Social Policy Vitaliy Muzychenk

And the regional governors of Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kiev, Sumy and Kherson.

And separately, "the defense ministry had earlier announced the resignation of deputy minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, in charge of the army's logistical support, following allegations that he signed food contracts at inflated prices."

In this case, as far as food contracts are concerned, Shapovalov is accused of having signed an agreement with an unknown company with an unclear reputation. In his role as deputy defense minister, his resignations are the most important and visible. In particular, it would play no small role in overseeing the billions of dollars flowing into the pockets of US and European taxpayers as authorized defense aid.

He has bought military rations at inflated prices, in what appears to be a scheme to line contractors' pockets and which may involve kickbacks for himself.

Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov has resigned over the food shopping scandal.

As Defense Ministry still tries to downplay it as a “technical error” – Politico looks into the details of the scandal:

An article by Ukrainian website Z N.UA revealed last week that the defense ministry had bought overpriced food supplies for its troops. For example, the ministry bought eggs at 17 hryvnias a piece, while the average price of an egg in Kiev is around 7 hryvnias. According to ZN.UA, the contract for the food supply of soldiers in 2023 amounts to 13.16 billion hryvnias (328 million euros).

This is two to three times higher than current tariffs for such food items, according to reports. Shapovalov's resignation letter indicates that he is stepping down for "not posing a threat to the supply stability of the Armed Forces of Ukraine following a campaign of allegations related to the purchase of food services".

There is also the deputy head of the Zelensky administration, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, who is accused of leading a lavish wartime lifestyle. Many of Tuesday's mainstream media are withholding some of the key verified details. For example, the BBC simply writes that "Tymoshenko has been involved in several scandals during her tenure, including in October last year when she was accused of using a car donated to Ukraine for humanitarian purposes."

But since early December, local Ukrainian news outlets, enraged by the lavish lifestyle of Ukrainian leaders at a time when tens of millions of people are without power due to Russian air strikes on the country's electricity grid, have begun confirming that Tymoshenko drove high-end sports cars in and out of the capital, to and from villas that typically cost $10,000 to $25,000 a month.
The deputy head of the Office of the President, Kirill Timoshenko, 34 years old.

So there's been a bit of a cleanup in Ukraine. Not all, but a little. Could it be linked to the change of leadership in the US House of Representatives, which has come under the control of the Republicans who want greater control of the funds sent to Ukraine?

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The article Will anything change at the top of the Ukrainian government after the wave of resignations? comes from Economic Scenarios .

This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL on Tue, 24 Jan 2023 20:56:05 +0000.