Why is Zelenskyy sacking his defence minister?

The Ukrainian president is this week set to replace Oleksii Reznikov, who has been defence minister since the beginning of the war.

His departure, and replacement with Rustem Umerov, represents a big shake-up of the department, but why has it happened now, mid-way through Ukraine’s counteroffensive?

Mr Reznikov, after all, has helped secure billions of dollars of Western military aid to help the war effort.

But, though he has denied any wrongdoing, the minister has been dogged by graft allegations surrounding his ministry.

His exit could bring an end to months of domestic media pressure that began in January when Mr Reznikov’s ministry was accused of buying food at inflated prices.

Though he was not personally involved in the food contract, some Ukrainian commentators said he should take political responsibility.

Last month, a Ukrainian media outlet accused his ministry of corruption during the procurement of winter coats for the army.

At the same time, Mr Zelenskyy has been eager to emphasise his crackdown on corruption in Ukraine, as the country applies to join the European Union.

The public has also become highly sensitive to corruption as the war rages on.

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