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Monday, January 23, 2023 – Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy has vowed that corruption, the country’s chronic problem cast into the background by the war against Russia, would not be tolerated saying he would make key decisions on uprooting it this week.
Zelenskiy’s pledge on Sunday, January 22 came after a Deputy minister of regional development, Vasyl Lozinskiy, was detained on allegations of accepting a bribe. Lozinskiy was forced to resign on Sunday by the ministerial cabinet.
Also a report emerged last week against Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov claiming that the military had allegedly secured food at highly inflated prices.
Reznikov’s ministry described the allegations as “false” and a parliamentary committee had been asked to investigate.
Ukraine has had a long history of rampant corruption and shaky governance, with Transparency International ranking the country’s corruption at 122 of 180 countries, not much better than Russia in 2021.
The EU has made anti-corruption reforms one of its key requirements for Ukraine’s membership after granting Kyiv the candidate status last year.
“I want this to be clear: there will be no return to what used to be in the past, to the way various people close to state institutions or those who spent their entire lives chasing a chair used to live,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.
“This week will be the time for appropriate decisions,” Zelenskiy said. “The decisions have already been prepared. I do not want to make them public at this time, but it will all be fair.”
Elected by a landslide in 2019 on pledges to change the way the ex-Soviet state was governed, Zelenskiy said that his government had accepted the resignation of the deputy minister.