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Ukraine. a cascade of resignations in the face of the first corruption scandal since the Russian invasion;

A series of resignations in Ukraine, NATO statements, reconfirmation of Berlin’s support, expulsion of Russian ambassadors…

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Le Figaro This Tuesday, January 24 provides an update on the war in Ukraine.

An unprecedented wave of resignations

In Ukraine, five regional governors, four deputy ministers and two heads of government departments, in addition to the deputy head of the president’s office and the deputy prosecutor general, were dismissed from their positions.

President Vladimir Zelensky announced on Monday evening.personnel decisions“over”personnel of different levels in ministries and other structures of central administration, marzes and law enforcement system;“.

The wave of withdrawals comes as Kiev is asking its Western allies, whose military and financial support is crucial, for hundreds of modern tanks and other weaponry for a new offensive on the front.

At the beginning of the reorganization, a scandal related to a contract signed by the Ministry of Defense at an allegedly overestimated price and related to food products for its soldiers. According to an investigation by the news site ZN.UA, this contract was signed at a price of 13 billion hryvnias (about 324 million euros).two or three higherthan the existing tariffs for basic products.

Among the officials who resigned are Deputy Minister of Defense Vyacheslav Shapovalov, who was responsible for the logistics of the armed forces, Deputy Chief of Staff of the President Kyrillo Tymoshenko and Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksii Simonenko. The list of these resignations also includes the dismissal of the Deputy Minister of Social Policy and two Deputy Ministers of Territorial Development.

Even if those accusations are unfounded“Departure of Vyacheslav Chapovalov”.will maintain the trust of society and international partners, as well as ensure objectivity“Efforts to shed light on this case, assures the press release of the Ministry of Defense.

Kirylo Tymoshenko, one of the president’s few aides after Zelensky’s election in 2019, who notably oversaw projects to restore facilities damaged by Russian strikes, was embroiled in several scandals during and before the invasion of Moscow. In October, he was specifically accused of using the SUV given to Ukraine by the General Motors Group for humanitarian purposes. After these revelations, Kyrillo Tymoshenko announced that he was moving the car to the area near the front line.

Oleksii Simonenko was accused by influential Ukrainian media “Ukrainian Pravda”., recently went on vacation to Spain, when travel abroad, except for professional purposes, is usually prohibited for Ukrainian men of fighting age. According to the media, he left in a car belonging to a Ukrainian businessman and accompanied by his bodyguard. President Zelensky announced on Monday evening that a number of Ukrainian officials would leave their posts.

According to Taras Melnichuk, the representative of the government in the parliament, the governors of Dnipropetrovsk (center), Zaporizhia (south), Sumy (north), Kherson (south) and the capital city of Kyiv will also leave their positions.

Tanks. Allies can “start training” Ukrainians, Berlin says

Berlin will investigatewith the required urgencyPoland’s request for permission to transfer 14 Leopard 2 heavy tanks to Ukraine to help repel a Russian invasion, a spokesman said on Tuesday. “The request has reached us (…) We will process the request with the necessary urgency in accordance with the prescribed procedure“, he elaborated.

Germany on Tuesday cleared the way for allies to supply Leopard heavy tanks claimed by Ukraine, where the government has been rocked by the first major corruption scandal since the Russian invasion began there, nearly a year ago.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Tuesday that countries allied with Ukraine with Leopard heavy tanks could begin training Ukrainian troops in their use, although Germany has not yet approved their delivery to Kiev. “I have directly encouraged partner countries that have Leopard tanks ready to be deployed to train Ukrainian forces on those tanks.“, the minister stated during the press conference held in Berlin with the head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg.

Germany will support Ukraine so that it”.wonThe minister made the war against Russia private. “We support Ukraine to not lose, to win this war against Russia“, he said in an interview with the German ZDF television. “Germany is doing more for it than any ally except the US.“, he defended.

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German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a press conference in Berlin, Germany, January 24, 2023. ANNEGRET HILLS/REUTERS

Delivery of tanks. Poland has sent an official request to Berlin

The German government is under increasing pressure to allow its NATO allies to supply Ukraine with German-made Leopard heavy tanks that Kiev has requested to fight the Russian army. “I understand the concerns and fears of Ukrainian friends. Germany has a special responsibility and role“Boris Pistorius accepted. But “we must think carefully about what we can do“He assessed, repeating that Berlin did not want to do this.”single rider“.

The minister is having a meeting with the Secretary General of NATO on Tuesday to discuss this issue in particular. Poland and Finland have offered to supply their leopards, but need formal approval from Berlin for re-export. However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has so far refused to comment on these indirect shipments, as well as the direct supply of leopards from German stocks.

Warsaw increased the pressure, announcing that it had sent an official request to Berlin, while assuring that it was ready to do without the as-yet-undecided neighbor’s approval. “Germany has already received our request to agree to the transfer of Leopard 2 tanks to UkraineThe Minister of Defense of Poland, Mariusz Blaszczak, wrote on his Twitter account with a call to join Berlin.To the coalition of countries supporting Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks“. Despite this tension,there is no breach in the covenantsaid Boris Pistorius. “If the decision takes one or two days, then so be it“, he added.

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Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak in Ramstein, Germany, January 20, 2023. ANDRE PAIN / AFP

Russia has not changed its goals, according to NATO

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that there is “no indication“showing that Russia had”.changed his goalsDuring his visit to Berlin during his war against Ukraine.

The NATO chief reiterated the importance of supplying Kiev with more heavy weapons to push back Russian forces, saying himself:confident“which solution will be”soonfound in a shipment of tanks claimed by Ukraine.

Source: Le Figaro

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