Ukraine, Zelensky: “I want a new defense minister”

The president is about to dismiss Reznikov: “We need a new approach”

“I want to replace the defense minister. A new approach is needed”. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky is preparing a change in the government and in all likelihood in the management of the counter-offensive, which has entered a crucial phase in the war with Russia.

“Parliament will be asked to make a personnel decision this week. I want to clarify that now. I have decided to replace the Minister of Defense of Ukraine. Oleksiy Reznikov has experienced more than 550 days of total war. I believe the ministry needs of new approaches and other methods of interaction both with the armed forces and with society in general,” says Zelensky, who singled out the successor: “Now Rustem Umerov should head the Ministry. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine knows this person well and the Mr Umerov needs no further introduction. I expect Parliament to support this candidate,” he adds.


Zelensky and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the “functioning” of the maritime corridor set up by Kiev for the safe navigation of ships after Moscow exited the grain deal. The phone call between the two leaders came on the eve of the summit in Russia between President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and while Moscow was striking the Odessa region of Ukraine with drones.

“We discussed ways to ensure the functioning of the grain corridor and strengthen the security of the Odessa region,” Zelensky wrote on social media. Ukraine this week said four more vessels have passed through its temporary maritime corridor in the Black Sea, which it set up last month to ensure safe navigation.

In the next few hours Erdogan will meet Putin in Sochi, a Russian town on the Black Sea, in the hope of a resumption of the agreement. Zelensky also thanked Macron for France’s “fundamental military aid” to Kiev and announced that he “has discussed forthcoming aid packages”.