Ukraine PM next to be sacked amid corruption scandal: Reports
Ukrainian media say the Ukrainian Prime Minister may follow the lead of discredited acting minister for regional development.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal may be next to be dismissed amid a major government shakeup announced by President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukrainian media reported.
Zelensky indicated on Monday that there would be changes to the cabinet after Ukrainian media reported on irregularities in military procurement schemes. Several senior officials and governors have since been fired or said they have quit.
The announcement came a day after Vasyl Lozynsky, the acting minister for regional development and Shmyhal’s confidant, was arrested on bribery charges.
Ukrainian daily Strana.ua quoted an unnamed government official as saying that Lozynsky’s ouster did not result well for the Prime Minister.
"His case will be used to target the premier or maybe even to have Shmyhal removed from office," the official told the newspaper.
Shmyhal has reportedly sought to distance himself from the arrested minister, whom he appointed as his first deputy after taking office in 2020. Shmyhal’s removal would lead to the government's resignation and allow Zelensky to pick a new Prime Minister, subject to parliamentary approval.
Later on Tuesday, the Ukrainian President reshuffled regional governments, firing governors of Kiev, Dnipro, Sumy regions, as well as heads of the Kiev-controlled parts of Kherson and Zaporozhye regions.
At the same time, Oleksiy Kuleba, the dismissed governor of the Kiev region, was immediately appointed by Zelensky as deputy chief of his office. Kuleba replaced Kyrylo Tymoshenko, who has been implicated in corruption scandals.
It is noteworthy that a number of Ukrainian officials, including members of Zelensky's office, deputy ministers, and governors, have been dismissed over the past 24 hours amid high-profile bribery scandals.
Earlier today, a spokesperson for the US Department of Defense, Patrick Ryder, considered that the actions of Ukrainian President Zelensky to dismiss a number of Ukrainian officials in connection with corruption charges is an internal matter.
In response to a question by Al Mayadeen on Tuesday, Ryder denied that the US government is aware of the corruption charges, even if they had a negative impact on the course of the battles there.