President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed all heads of Ukraine’s regional military committees, in a move that would likely create recruitment challenges for Kiev in the midst of a counteroffensive against Russia.
Following a meeting with senior military leadership on Friday, Zelensky said on a social media post that they “are dismissing all regional military commissars” over corruption allegations that he said could amount to treason.
“This system should be run by people who know exactly what war is and why cynicism and bribery at a time of war is high treason,” he noted.
“During the inspection of the territorial recruitment centers, law enforcement agencies exposed cases of corruption,” the presidency said in a separate statement.
These “pose a threat to Ukraine’s national security and undermine confidence in state institutions,” the statement added.
Zelensky said new heads of the centers must be appointed from among “soldiers who have passed [through] the front or who cannot be in the trenches because they have lost their health, lost their limbs, but have preserved their dignity and do not have cynicism.”
Before new heads of the regional recruitment centers are appointed, there will be inspections by the Security Service of Ukraine, the president said.
The mass dismissal comes as his government is carrying out a sprawling investigation into military commissariats that has already produced 112 criminal cases against local commissars.
Last year, Zelensky also dismissed the head of the country’s domestic security service, the SBU, and the prosecutor general, over what he said was collaborating with Russia on security and military issues.