Espreso. Global

Ukraine’s Parliament approves appointment of Rustem Umerov as new Defense Minister

6 September, 2023 Wednesday

On Wednesday, September 6, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved the appointment of Rustem Umerov as Defense Minister. Previously, he served as the head of the State Property Fund

This was announced by MP Yaroslav Zheleznyak.

The decision was supported by 338 MPs.

Yesterday, on September 5, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Defense unanimously supported the candidacy of Rustem Umerov for the post of Defense Minister. - All 17 members voted in favor.

Zheleznyak said that the vote would be held on September 6.

The draft resolution on Umerov's appointment was introduced by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

On September 5, the Rada voted to dismiss him as head of the State Property Fund.

Read also: Rustem Umerov: What do we know about future Ukraine’s Defense Minister?

On September 5, the Rada also supported the resignation of Oleksii Reznikov as Ukraine's Defense Minister.

MPs' reactions

In the Verkhovna Rada, Petro Poroshenko said that the main task of the new Defense Minister Rustem Umierov is to provide transparent and effective support for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. 

"We have huge complaints against the previous minister, despite the fact that I know him very well, dating back to the Orange Revolution. But the complaints are not only about corruption, not about jackets, not about eggs, not about purchasing weapons. The complaints are about the preparation, the six months of preparation for the war, for which we are now paying a huge price. Unfortunately, this is true, but we need unity. Now, realizing all the problems with this appointment, because Rustem has no military experience, but he is a brilliant manager, I am confident that he will fulfill the key functions of the Ministry of Defense, namely transparent and effective provision of the Ukrainian Armed Forces," the fifth president said.

He emphasized that the appointment of a Crimean Tatar as defense minister today is a very powerful message that no agreements are possible without Crimea.

Oleksandr Kachura, an MP from the Servant of the People party, wrote that this is a very serious challenge that Umierov will have to successfully overcome.

"As one of my colleagues recently said: As long as a Crimean is the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, the issue of ending the war without liberating Crimea itself will definitely not be raised. I sincerely congratulate you, my friend, on your appointment to a responsible position. I am always ready to help at the parliamentary level," he wrote.

Halyna Yanchenko wished him strength and inspiration in his work to preserve and multiply all the good things he has done.

"Responsible and challenging work during the war. Rustem enjoys respect and authority among the countries of the Middle East. So a new challenge for him will be to gain the same authority and trust of our Western partners. After all, we are currently receiving most of our military aid from the West, while the Middle East takes a neutral, if not slightly pro-Russian position - I often feel this when commenting on events in Ukraine on Arab TV channels," wrote the MP from the Servant of the People faction.

What preceded it

On January 21, the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia publication reported that the Ministry of Defense was purchasing food for the military at prices much higher than in Kyiv retail chains. This scandal was later dubbed "eggs for 17 UAH". At a meeting on January 24, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to dismiss Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov. Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, director of the procurement department at the Ministry of Defense, was also dismissed: he was linked to the scandal over food for the Armed Forces.

On August 10, the Defense Ministry allegedly signed a contract with a Turkish company in the fall of 2022 to supply winter clothing for the military. In fact, to Ukraine were sent "camouflage jackets", which were re-registered as "winter air protection jackets" and were almost three times more expensive.

On August 25, it was reported that one of the owners of the Turkish company that received USD 30 million for the scandalous purchase of lightweight jackets for the Ukrainian military under the guise of winter jackets was the nephew of a member of the Servant of the People faction.

Amid accusations of purchasing and supplying summer jackets instead of winter ones, Reznikov offered a bet to the MP and a journalist. They responded.

On September 1, a court ruled that the Defense Ministry had purchased low-quality food for the military.

On Sunday, September 3, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed the dismissal of Oleksii Reznikov

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