Several Ukrainian top officials quit in wake of a massive anti-corruption drive. 

Several top Ukrainian officials resign as President Zelensky’s government unveils a major shake-up of the administration to root out corruption at the highest level.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government announced a major shake-up in an effort to root out corruption at the highest level.

Several Ukrainian top officials including 5 regional governors, 4 deputy ministers, and a top adviser filed their resignations in wake of this news. 

As the country grapples with the already 11-month Russian invasion, President Zelensky’s government has been plagued with multiple corruption scandals. 

According to President Zelensky’s top aide Mykhalo Podolyak, the president was just responding to the public demand that justice should be applied to everyone.

There have been recent reports of bribery, buying food at inflated prices while one official is accused of living a lavish lifestyle in the middle of the war. 

Such a shake-up can be explained as Ukraine hopes that its allies will support it with as much money and equipment to aid its ongoing resistance against the Russian troops and ensure every penny is counted instead of wasted.

Ukraine is also seeking an EU membership. The European Commission in June told Ukraine that it “further strengthen the fight against corruption, in particular at a high level, through proactive and efficient investigations, and a credible track record of prosecutions and convictions.”

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the President’s Deputy Head of Office was the first official to resign. He oversaw the country’s regional policy and worked on Zelensky’s election campaign.

He is accused by many investigative journalists of living a lavish lifestyle in the middle of the war. He has allegedly used many expensive sports cars during this period. 

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Following an investigation carried out by anti-corruption officials on January 22 which found that an organized criminal group embezzled funds meant to restore infrastructure, Deputy Minister Vasyl Lozonsky was released from his post the same day.

He was late arrested for receiving a bribe of $400,000. Zelensky announced that even though the government’s priority is defense and foreign policy, they are still aware of what is being said in society at different levels. 

After the fall of the Soviet Union, corruption has been Ukraine’s biggest problem. However, the government has implemented numerous reforms to battle corruption.

The most notable reform is the establishment of the NABU (National ANti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine) which investigates various corruption cases. 

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Even following his 2019 victory and being championed as a victory over corruption, Zelensky’s government’s commitment to reform has been questioned.

For instance, in late 2022, the Ukrainian parliament was praised for liquidating a corrupt district court. 

However, on the same day, they were criticized for implementing a reform that allows political interference in its constitutional court.

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