(RightWing.org) – When one’s country is at war, it is important to have the support of the citizens, who in turn need to trust their leaders to have the best interests of the country at heart. Some nations, like Russia and the People’s Republic of China, will use propaganda and suppression of outside news sources to accomplish that goal. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has taken a different approach, he has gutted the upper echelons of the Ministry of Defense due to alleged corruption issues.
Out With the Old, in With the New
Earlier in September, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov was asked to resign his position, which he did. Although there was no direct accusation of corruption on his part, the ministry of which he was the head, had recently been plagued with scandals “involving the procurement of goods and equipment for the Army at inflated prices”, according to the BBC. He was replaced by Rustem Umerov, a Crimean Tartar, and is therefore seen by some as a strong signal from Zelenskyy that he intends to reclaim Crimea which was “annexed” by Russia in 2014.
Taras Melnychuk, representative of the Cabinet of Ministers to the Ukrainian Parliament, announced the termination of six of the deputy ministers of defense on his Telegram account on September 18. The notice was simply a list of those who would be departing and gave no explanation as to why.
All the high-tech and powerful weapons in the world would be of no use to Ukraine in their fight against the Russian invaders without one major component, soldiers to use them. This is why Zelenskyy also fired the head of all 24 regional recruitment offices because at least some among their numbers allegedly decided to line their pockets instead of doing their duty.
The Ukrainian State Bureau of Investigation announced the arrest of one person who supposedly falsified documents declaring men unfit for duty in exchange for $10,000 USD. If convicted of this offense, the unnamed individual faces a maximum sentence of nine years in prison.
The People Weigh In
Similar to the way Reznikov was forced from his position because of the corruption instigated by others within the military, the Ukrainian people seem to be applying the same standard to Zelenskyy. According to a survey taken by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, 78% of the more than 2000 respondents agreed with a statement saying “that the president is directly responsible for corruption in the government and military administrations.”
Another potential complication for Zelenskyy is the response the Ukrainian citizens gave regarding the weapons and resources provided by the United States and other NATO nations. When asked if Ukraine should pledge to fight against the corruption that has plagued the country as a condition for receiving the aid, 55% said yes.
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