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Ukraine’s defense minister to be replaced by head of military intelligence Budanov

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Ukraine’s defense minister will be replaced by the chief of the military intelligence ahead of an expected Russian offensive and following corruption scandals, a senior lawmaker said on Sunday.

“Kyrylo Budanov will head the defense ministry, which is absolutely logical in wartime,” said senior lawmaker David Arakhamia, referring to the 37-year-old chief of the military intelligence.

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Reznikov, 56, will be appointed minister for strategic industries, the lawmaker said without specifying a timeline for the planned re-shuffle.

“War dictates personnel policies,” added Arakhamia.

“Time and circumstances require reinforcement and regrouping. This is happening now and will continue to happen in the future,” he added.

“The enemy is preparing to advance. We are preparing to defend ourselves.”

One of the best-known faces of Ukraine’s war effort, Reznikov was appointed defense minister in November 2021 and has helped secure Western weapons to buttress Ukrainian forces.

But his ministry has been beset by corruption scandals.

Reznikov’s deputy was forced to resign in late January after the ministry was accused of signing food contracts at prices two to three times higher than current rates for basic foodstuffs.

Speaking to reporters earlier Sunday, Reznikov did not say if he planned to stay on at the ministry.

But he added that only President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who last week stepped up efforts to clamp down on corruption, could decide his fate.

“The stress that I have endured this year is hard to measure precisely. I am not ashamed of anything,” Reznikov said. “My conscience is absolutely clear.”

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