The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, on Monday dismissed two high-ranking officials from their posts due to suspicions of corruption against them, Reuters reports.

Volodymyr Zelenskyi with Ukrainian generals and members of the Cabinet of MinistersPhoto: Poole-Ukrainian Office of the President / Zuma Press / Profimedia Images

Zelenskyi fired the director of the Special Communications and Information Protection Service of Ukraine (SCI) Yury Shchygol and his deputy Viktor Zhora. Taras Melnychuk, Minister of Relations with the Parliament, reported this on Telegram.

He did not give any reason for the dismissal of the two. But Reuters notes that the move came less than an hour after anti-corruption prosecutors in Kyiv announced they were investigating the SSSCIP director and his deputy for their role in a scheme to embezzle 62 million hryvnias (about $1.72 million) between 2020 to 2022.

Six people were allegedly involved in the scheme, the prosecutor’s office suspects officials of buying software at inflated prices. The National Anti-Corruption Bureau in Kyiv stated that the purchases for two companies within the framework of the DCCPFR were conducted at an auction to which other participants did not have access.

Zelensky decided on changes at the top of the Armed Forces

The release of Shchigol and Zhora took place only a day after President Zelenskyi also changed the commander of the medical forces of the Ukrainian army. However, then the Ukrainian president declared the need for “changes”.

In early November, the president of Ukraine also removed the commander of the Ukrainian special forces, which surprised many, given their success since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

Although the dismissal of the two commanders is most likely related to the situation at the front and the tension between the political and military leadership in Kyiv, Zelenskyi and his government have promised to strengthen their anti-corruption actions in the context of the recommendation of the European Commission. Negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU will officially begin on November 8 .

The Republic of Moldova received the same recommendation at the same time as Ukraine.

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