In the aftermath of Ukraine’s failed counteroffensive, President Volodymyr Zelensky decided to replace Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov, who was mired in multiple accusations of corruption in his Ministry.
This comes as Kiev needs to demonstrate to the Western powers that finance the country that the democratic institutions are alive and well – even though it is unclear whether elections will take place.
Zelensky couldn’t get his first pick choices for substitute, because some applicants wanted to take their own teams to the Ministry. By choosing the head of the State Property Fund (SPF), Rustem Umarov, he felt he made a safe and loyal choice.
So it comes as a bit of a shock to find out that, less than a week after he was appointed, Umarov and the foundation he ran are said to already be under investigation by the Ukrainian authorities.
“The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) may open a criminal case against Rustem Umerov, the former head of the State Property Fund (SPF), who was recently appointed the country’s defense minister, a Ukrainian media outlet has reported.
The outlet claimed that Ukraine’s Supreme Anti-Corruption Court ordered the NABU to initiate the Umerov case in a ruling allegedly issued on August 25.
According to the ruling, on August 18, NABU received a complaint that then-SPF head Umerov, along with his deputies Denis Shugaliy and Alexander Fedorishin, ‘took actions aimed at concealing the facts of theft of state property’.”
In other words, they are accused of concealing the sale of electricity at below-market prices to companies related to Tsentrenergo, one of Ukraine’s energy giants.
“Late last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky removed Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov from his post, citing the need for ‘new approaches and other formats of interaction with both the military and society in general’. Zelensky said that Reznikov would be replaced with Umerov, whose candidacy was okayed by Ukrainian lawmakers on Wednesday.”
The spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, took to social media to say that Kiev’s scandals ‘are getting funnier’.
Meanwhile, Rustem Umerov took his oath in Parliament, but the shocking lack of attention paid to his speech went viral.
“Rustem is a people’s deputy of Ukraine from the “Voice” party, a deputy member of the Permanent Delegation to the Council of Europe, and, most importantly, the chairman of the State Property Fund of Ukraine, where he managed to prove himself from the ‘best’ side:
On March 3, 2023, information appeared that the State Property Fund held an auction for the privatization of the integral property complex “Ukroboronresursy” with two land plots in Kiev. The winner of the auction was Epicenter K LLC.
On March 31, 2023, the State Property Fund of Ukraine sold at an auction the Druzhbovsky quarry of the non-metallic mineral Quartz, which is popular among tourists, located in the Korostensky district of the Zhytomyr region, for a symbolic sum of 1,000 hryvnias. The same LLC “Epicenter K” became the buyer.
What is this, if not another transfer of enterprises and land plots to their businessmen friends, as well as undisguised money laundering?“
Read more about the change in Ukraine MoD: