Quite a few senior Ukrainian officers resigned or have been fired on January 24 as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy pledged to eradicate corruption from his administration amid a high-profile graft scandal that’s threatening to erode the so-far staunch Western help for the management in Kyiv.
The shake-ups got here as Poland despatched an official request to Berlin to re-export its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
Berlin has acquired Warsaw’s request, Polish Protection Minister Mariusz Błaszczak stated in a tweet.
A German authorities supply informed Reuters that Warsaw’s request to re-export as much as 14 Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine has been acquired, though Germany didn’t instantly verify that formally.
Germany had initially confirmed reluctance each to offering such tanks to Kyiv itself or permitting third nations which have Leopard tanks to ship them to Ukraine.
However Berlin has come below intense stress from Ukraine and several other NATO allies to vary its place and permit the export of the Leopards.
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NATO Secretary-Common Jens Stoltenberg stated on January 24 that he was assured the alliance will discover a answer quickly on the supply of battle tanks to Ukraine.
“At this pivotal second within the warfare, we should present heavier and extra superior programs to Ukraine, and we should do it quicker,” Stoltenberg informed reporters, after talks with German Protection Minister Boris Pistorius.
On January 23, the German protection group Rheinmetall stated it may ship 139 Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine if required over the subsequent a number of months.
The Kremlin in the meantime stated that German tank deliveries to Ukraine would convey “nothing good to the longer term relationship” between Berlin and Moscow. “They’ll depart a long-lasting mark,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated January 24.
The event on attainable tank deliveries got here as Ukrainian authorities moved to crack down on corruption, with three senior officers asserting their exit Tuesday.
Early on January 24, the deputy head of the presidential administration, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, introduced on January 24 that he had tendered his resignation to Zelenskiy.
“I thank the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy for the belief and the chance to do good deeds day by day and each minute,” Tymoshenko wrote on the Telegram messaging, including, “Thanks to the armed forces for saving and defending our nation.”
Shortly after Tymoshenko’s announcement, Deputy Protection Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, who was liable for supplying troops with meals and gear, additionally resigned, citing “media accusations” of corruption.
A press release on the Protection Ministry’s web site stated that Shapovalov’s resignation was “a worthy deed” tha would assist retain belief within the ministry.
Additionally on January 24, Deputy Prosecutor-Common Oleksiy Symonenko was fired in what the Prosecutor-Common’s Workplace stated was a shake-up of senior officers.
A assertion asserting his dismissal gave no motive for the choice however stated it had been “based on his personal want.”
Two deputy ministers — Vyacheslav Nehoda and Ivan Lukerya — additionally resigned from Ukraine’s Ministry of Communities and the Growth of Territories on January 24.
Nehoda and Lukerya each confirmed the strikes on their Fb pages.
The departures of the three officers got here after Zelenskiy introduced on January 23 in his nightly deal with that he would make personnel adjustments at senior and decrease ranges, following probably the most high-profile graft scandal engulfing Ukraine since Russia’s invasion.
The corruption scandal broke on January 22, when the Protection Ministry was accused by an investigative newspaper of overpaying suppliers for troops’ meals. The provider has stated a technical mistake was guilty and no extra cash had been given. The ministry stated the accusations have been baseless.
The identical day, Ukraine’s deputy infrastructure minister was detained on suspicion of receiving a $400,000 bribe over the importation of turbines in September, an allegation he denies.
On the battlefield, Ukraine’s Common Employees stated in its January 24 report that it repelled Russian assaults in 11 areas within the Donetsk and Luhansk areas, with enemy hearth concentrated primarily within the Bakhmut and Avdiyivka instructions, the place heavy preventing has been below manner for months.
The top of the Donetsk regional army administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, stated three individuals have been killed and three have been wounded by Russian shelling.
“On January 23, the Russians killed three residents of the Donetsk area: in Novopokrovskiy, Paraskoviyivka, and Chasovoy Yar,” Kyrylenko stated.
Russian forces additionally continued shelling Ukrainian positions in Zaporizhzhya, Kherson, and Lyman, the Common Employees stated.
Entrance traces have been largely unchanged for 2 months regardless of heavy losses on either side and constant Russian bombardments.