Zelensky fires members of his cabinet over corruption allegations

It’s a long list of people who are themselves fired or have been fired. Vyacheslav Shapovalov was fired, i.a. A senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, has also been fired. And the Ukrainian chief prosecutor Oleksiy Symonenko was also fired this morning.

Money and state cars

Defense Minister Oleksi Reznikov is said to have spent huge amounts of money on food for military units far from the front. He was not fired himself, but his deputy minister Shapovalov was. Councilor Tymoshenko is said to have used expensive government cars for private use.

Chief Prosecutor Symonenko is said to have been on holiday in Spain over the New Year in the car of a businessman suspected of tax evasion. In addition, Vasyl Lozinsky, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, was already fired on Sunday because he was caught accepting bribes.

Interview Zelensky

Government leaders previously urged Zelensky to work on the amount of corruption in his country. Earlier in an interview with Mariëlle Tweebeeke van Nieuwsuur, the president reacted as if she had been bitten by a viper when she asked him about corruption.

Later in the interview, he says that the studies that Tweebeeke relies on have the same value as the studies that Russia uses to call Ukrainians Nazis. According to Transparency International’s corruption index, Ukraine ranks 122 (there are 180, Russia 136, the Netherlands 8).

Priorities

It looks like a major cleaning, says Boekestijn. “It’s about five deputy ministers and five regional officials. We don’t know exactly what’s going on. It all sounds wrong. But wherever so much money flows, corruption lurks. Ukraine was a corrupt country before the war.”

“This country is trying to keep Putin away. Then these kinds of corruption problems come second,” says Boekestijn. Zelensky is now doing something about it, especially to keep arms supplies going. “I can imagine that he is afraid that the corruption argument will make the West stop supporting Ukraine.”

rule of law

It is extremely difficult to eradicate corruption, says Boekestijn. “We want it, but it doesn’t actually work.” This is because, according to Boekestijn, you need a rule of law to put an end to corruption.

“You have to imagine: if the head of the public television station puts money in his pocket, he will be tried by independent judges. This is not the case in many countries. In Ukraine, you have a very bad rule of law. Some things is good, but some things are wrong. It is a very fragile country.”

Snatch money away

Zelensky’s hands themselves are not completely spotless either, says Boekestijn. “Everywhere public procurement takes place is extremely prone to corruption. Zelensky was an extremely successful comedian and actor. He was broadcast on a channel with a very rich oil price. He had diverted part of the money he earned to Cyprus and Belize .”

Boekestijn believes that a country at war against Putin should not be severely punished for corruption. “Go live in that country. If everyone is corrupt, it’s very hard not to.”

European Commission

But at the same time, billions go to Ukraine to support the country in the war. Shouldn’t you be paying close attention to what happens to each euro? “But with every bid, there are so many of them, it’s so easy to call friends,” says Boekestijn.

“The European Commission considers this reorganization insufficient, they have said. Zelensky will also do something about it. He is afraid that this will be used against him.” In Berlin it is already being used against him, by the left wing of the political party who do not want to go along with the plans to send tanks to Ukraine. Putin opens the champagne bottle.

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