Ukraine fires 6 deputy defence ministers as heavy fighting continues in the east

Kyiv, September 18

Six Ukrainian deputy defence ministers were fired Monday following the dismissal two weeks ago of Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov in a corruption scandal, officials said, as heavy fighting continued in the east.

Deputy defense ministers including Hanna Maliar, Vitalii Deyneha and Denys Sharapov, as well as the state secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Kostiantyn Vashchenko, were fired, according to the Telegram account of Taras Melnychuk, permanent representative of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Melnychuk provided no explanation of the firings, but the government has been investigating accusations of corruption in the military related to purchasing equipment. Rustem Umerov, a Crimean Tatar lawmaker who took over as defense minister, did not immediately issue a statement.

Reznikov was removed earlier this month after a scandal involving the defense ministry’s procurement of military jackets at three times their cost. Reznikov denied the allegations but resigned.

The Ukrainian air force said it intercepted all 17 cruise missiles launched by Russia and 18 of 24 Shaded drones in the southern regions of Mykolaiv and Odesa early Monday morning.

Oleh Kiper, regional governor of Odesa, said a recreational facility in the town of Vylkovo was damaged in the attack but no casualties were immediately reported. Vylkovo, often referred to as the “Ukrainian Venice” because of its numerous canals, is located in the Danube delta on the border with Romania.

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