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Zelenskyy fired 9 senior officials after reports that members of his government vacationed in Spain and France and took bribes during the war

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a press conference following the tripartite meeting on January 11, 2023 in Lviv, Ukraine.Stanislav Ivanov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

  • Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy sacked a series of senior officials on Tuesday.

  • Some of Ukraine’s top officials are accused of corruption and lavish vacations.

  • Zelenskyy has since pledged to take a zero-tolerance approach to corruption in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired at least nine top officials on Tuesday as his government battles corruption charges and officials who splurged on lavish lifestyles during the war.

Four deputy ministers and five regional governors were sacked by the Ukrainian cabinet on Tuesday, according to the Telegram channel of Oleg Nemchinov, the secretary of the cabinet of ministers.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko also announced his resignation the same day, the BBC reported.

The wave of sackings and resignations comes as some of Ukraine’s top leaders have been accused of buying military food at inflated prices and taking luxury vacations as their compatriots fight the Russian invasion.

In December, Symonenko vacationed in Spain in a Mercedes owned by a prominent Ukrainian businessman, The Guardian reported.

A Ukrainian border guard spokesman was also slammed for partying in Paris as war continued in eastern Ukraine, according to Bloomberg.

In response, Zelenskyy pledged on Sunday to root out longstanding corruption in Ukraine’s leadership.

Ukraine would see “no return to the way things were”, he said in a video address, adding that the week ahead would be “the time for appropriate decisions”.

“Of course, now the focus is on the defense issue, it’s the foreign policy issue, it’s the war issue,” he said. “But that does not mean that I do not see and hear what is being said in society at different levels, both centrally and in the regions.”

On Monday, Zelenskyy banned civil servants from traveling abroad until the end of the war, except when performing government duties.

“If they want to rest now, they will rest outside the civil service,” he said.

Another sacked official, former Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, resigned after Ukrainian newspapers reported that he had bought food for the army at prices two or three times higher than in the grocery stores.

Shapovalov spent $360 million on food, Ukrainian newspaper ZN UA reported.

The country’s defense minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, said the inflated prices were due to a contractor mixing up data in a “technical error”, saying the bribery reports manipulated facts.

Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry said Shapovalov denied corruption allegations but asked to be fired to maintain public confidence in the government.

Zelenskyy’s press office and Ukraine’s Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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