Ukraine advances defense ministry restructuring, appoints three deputy ministers

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Ukraine appointed three new deputy defense ministers on Thursday, pressing on with changes intended to help bring the army closer to NATO standards and boost transparency and accountability.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sacked his defense minister last month and appointed Crimean Tatar Rustem Umerov to replace him, saying new approaches were required for the military and society as the war with Russia drags on.

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Umerov’s appointment followed media allegations of corruption in food purchases for the front that had dogged the defense ministry.

He said his new deputies would oversee military and technical policies, procurement, and reform at the ministry.

“Ukrainian soldiers should be provided with everything necessary,” Umerov said in a post on Facebook. “Zero tolerance for corruption and efficiency are the most important principles of the ministry of defense.”

The defense ministry said in a statement that Dmytro Klimenkov, commercial director at the state gas transit company, had been appointed deputy minister to oversee procurement and would work to digitize and unify all the processes.

General Ivan Gavrylyuk was named a deputy defense minister to oversee military and technical politics, work on helping increase domestic weapon production and supplies, and coordinate logistics and partnerships with Ukraine’s Western partners.

Stanislav Haider, the former head of digital reform at the National Anti-corruption Agency, will work to increase transparency and accountability at the ministry and create data management systems.

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