Verkhovna Rada has voted for the appointment of Rustem Umierov as Ukraine’s Defense Minister. 338 deputies out of 3600 voted “in favor”. Volodymyr Zelensky proposed the candidacy of Rustem Umierov.
On 3 September Volodymyr Zelensky announced the resignation of the previous Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, who headed the Department since November 2021. When proposing the candidacy of Rustem Umierov, he said that the Ukrainian Defense Ministry “needs new approaches and other formats of interaction with both the military and society as a whole”.
Rustem Umierov was a member of Ukraine’s delegation to the negotiations with Russia in spring 2022. In the same year, he became the head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine. This year, the National Police of Ukraine opened a criminal case against the management of the SPFU.
Before that, Rustem Umierov had been a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, as well as the secretary of the Committee on human rights and return of the territories occupied by Russia. In the past, Rustem had served as an adviser to Mustafa Dzhemilev, the head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People (recognized as an extremist organization in the Russian Federation and banned).
In January 2023, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry got caught at the center of a corruption scandal. The ministry was accused of purchasing products for rear units at prices at least two to three times higher than market prices. According to The New York Times sources, Oleksii Reznikov’s resignation may also be linked to the protracted military conflict with Russia.
Verkhovna Rada’s MP Oleksiy Goncharenko admitted that after resignation Oleksii Reznikov would be appointed Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK.