Ukraine purges officials and governors in biggest shake-up of war

Ukraine dismissed more than a dozen senior officials including governors of several major battlefield provinces on Tuesday in the biggest shake-up of its wartime leadership since Russia’s military operation last year.

Among Ukrainian officials who resigned or were dismissed on Tuesday were the governors of the Kyiv, Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and adjacent Dnipropetrovsk are frontline provinces now; Kyiv and Sumy were major battlefields earlier in the war, Reuters reported.

A deputy defence minister, a deputy prosecutor, a deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office and two deputy ministers responsible for regional development were among the others who left.

Some, though not all, had been linked with corruption allegations. Ukraine has a history of graft and shaky governance, and is under international pressure to show it can be a reliable steward of billions of dollars in Western aid.

“There are already personnel decisions – some today, some tomorrow – regarding officials at various levels in ministries and other central government structures, as well as in the regions and in law enforcement,” Zelenskiy said in an overnight video address.

Zelenskiy aide Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted: “The president sees and hears society. And he directly responds to a key public demand – justice for all.”

The purge came two days after a deputy infrastructure minister was arrested and accused of siphoning off $400,000 from contracts to buy generators – one of the first big corruption scandals to become public since the war began 11 months ago.