Espreso. Global

Ukrainian Defense Minister’s resignation bet: journalist and MP react to offer

26 August, 2023 Saturday

Amid allegations involving the procurement of summer jackets for the Ukrainian army instead of winter ones, Ukraine's Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, proposed a bet to an MP and a journalist. They responded

Babel reported the information.

According to the media outlet, in case if 180,000 winter jackets were provided instead of summer variants, MP Anastasia Radina would be expected to step down from her position. Similarly, journalist Mykhailo Tkach from Ukrainska Pravda online newspaper would be required to resign and refrain from practicing journalism for 3 years.

However, if it is the other way around, Reznikov will resign.

The minister said that during the review of the situation, the Ministry of Defense would provide all documents, evidence, facts and materials related to the case, "so that the winner of the dispute would be obvious to the entire Ukrainian society."

In this bet, Oleksii Reznikov has requested the Committee on Ethics of the Verkhovna Rada MPs and the Commission on Journalistic Ethics to act as arbitrators, while the editorial teams of Ukrainian publications will serve as observers.

Journalist Mykhailo Tkach's response to the minister's proposal

"I will leave only when the last internal executioner of Ukrainian society, who thinks he can use the power of society in his private interests with impunity, is cornered. For now, the ideas of those who are on the way to this corner do not bother me. Because this is my job," the Ukrainska Pravda journalist wrote.

Instead, Tkach said that Reznikov should have resigned after the investigation into the purchase of eggs by the Defense Ministry at the inflated price of 17 hryvnias per egg.

"But you have dragged the society into a show with kilograms, pieces, and other manipulations that should not be in the Ministry of Defense during a full-scale war," Tkach said.

According to the journalist, he also does not understand why the minister wants Tkach to stay away from journalism for 3 years.

"Is this how long it takes to cut the budget of this country into the pockets of non-Turkish jackets?" the statement reads.

According to him, in three years Reznikov may no longer be the Minister of Defense, and Tkach will continue his work. 

MP Anastasia Radina's response

MP Anastasiya Radina suggested that Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov refute the following information by 9 am on August 28:

  • The Ministry of Defense procured jackets through a non-competitive process from a "Turkish" intermediary company, one of the owners of which at the time of the contract with the Ministry of Defense was a fully Ukrainian nephew of the MP from the Defense Committee, Kasai;

  • The Ministry of Defense paid three times more for the jackets than indicated in the document provided by the Turkish side, with which the cargo left Turkey and passed through other customs up to the Ukrainian border. The authenticity of the document was confirmed by Yaroslav Zheleznyak, the head of the Temporary Investigation Commission of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for the investigation of economic crimes.

If he does not refute this information, he will have to resign.

"If you refute it, I will resign immediately after the adoption of the law on the restoration of public declaration of officials' assets, including military commissars and procurement officers for the army," Radina added.

According to her, the minister of a country at war should now be dealing with his subordinates, providing the military with UAVs and launching a logistics procurement agency. However, according to Radina, Reznikov should not spend his time "fighting with journalists."

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