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Ukraine ousts several top officials amid anti-corruption push

Several top officials in the Ukrainian government were ousted from their positions on Monday and Tuesday in the largest anti-corruption sweep in Kyiv since the war with Russia began.

The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, resigned on Monday, according to Telegram posts, which did not cite an official reason for the resignation.

A Ukrainian investigative news outlet, Bihus.Info, reported last year that Tymoshenko drove a Chevrolet Tahoe that had been donated by General Motors for evacuating civilians.

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He was also accused of being tied to the embezzlement of humanitarian aid worth $7 million for the southern Zaporizhzhia region. Tymoshenko has denied all accusations against him.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry on Tuesday also announced on Telegram the resignation of Vyacheslav Shapovalov, Ukraine’s deputy minister of defense.

The resignation was announced after local media reported this week that the Defense Ministry paid inflated prices for food for soldiers, sometimes paying two to three times basic rates. Shapovalov oversaw logistical support for the Ukrainian army.

According to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, Shapovalov “asked to be fired in order not to create threats to the stable support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” saying the accusations against him and the ministry were unfounded.

In all, four deputy ministers and five regional governors were fired or resigned from their positions this week.

The news comes two days after a deputy minister for infrastructure, Vasyl Lozynsky, was fired for allegedly receiving a $400,000 bribe to fix contracts restoring infrastructure facilities damaged by Russian strikes.

Ukraine has long grappled with corruption allegations, stemming from before Russia’s invasion. The latest leadership shakeups come as Kyiv faces new pressure to root out the issue amid the flow of aid to the country and as it seeks membership in the European Union.

Zelensky has said the announcements serve as a symbol of Ukraine’s commitment to taking down corrupt figures.

“I want this to be our signal to all those whose actions or behavior violate the principle of justice,” Zelensky said in an address on Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.