Ukraine appoints two new deputy defense ministers
From left to right: Vitaliy Deinega, Andriy Shevchenko, Oleksandr Pavliuk (Photo:Olexander Medvedev / NV, Andriy Shevchenko via Facebook, Київська ОВА)
Following the recent dismissal of several high-ranking officials in the wake of food procurement corruption scandal, Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers has appointed two new deputy defense ministers, Taras Melnychuk, the government's parliamentary representative, said in a Telegram post on Feb. 21.
As was expected, Vitaliy Deynega, the founder of Come Back Alive, which is one of Ukraine's leading military-focused charities, and Andriy Shevchenko, a former MP and ambassador to Canada, were selected for the positions.
Deynega was appointed Deputy Minister for Digital Development, Digital Transformations, and Digitalization, while Shevchenko became Deputy Minister for European Integration.
The appointments were made following an announcement by Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov on Feb. 13 regarding upcoming reshuffles in the ministry.
Earlier, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov invited Deynega, Shevchenko, and the commander of Kyiv’s defense forces, Oleksandr Pavlyuk, to take up positions as his deputies. On Feb. 14, the Cabinet appointed Pavlyuk as First Deputy Minister of Defense.
The possibility of Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov being dismissed surfaced following a food procurement scandal involving overpriced contracts for the military. The scandal raised suspicions of corrupt dealings involving several high-ranking officials in the ministry.
On Feb. 5, there was speculation in the media that Reznikov would be moved on to the position of the Minister of Strategic Industries, while his post might be taken over by Ukrainian Military Intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov.
Commenting on rumors about his designation, Reznikov said he would resign if President Volodymyr Zelenskyy approved the relevant order.
On Feb. 15, Reznikov said that according to the president’s decision, he would continue to serve as defense minister.
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