UPDATES WITH MORE INFORMATION; REVISES HEADLINE; EDITS THROUGHOUT
By Burc Eruygur
ISTANBUL (AA) - Multiple Ukrainian officials either stepped down or were relieved of their duties on Tuesday amid steps by Kyiv to combat allegations of corruption in the government.
Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers Oleh Nemchinov announced in a statement on Telegram that four deputy ministers – Vyacheslav Shapovalov from the Defense Ministry, Ivan Lukerya and Vyacheslav Nehoda from the Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development Ministry, and Vitaliy Muzychenko from the Social Policy Ministry – were relieved of their duties.
The governors of Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, and Sumy regions were also dismissed, it added.
Separately, Taras Melnychuk, the official government representative in parliament, in a message on Telegram, said deputies Anatoliy Ivankevych and Viktor Vyshnyov from the State Service of Maritime and River Transport were removed from their posts.
Earlier, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, announced his resignation a day after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a decree of his dismissal.
"I thank the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the trust and the opportunity to do good deeds every day and every minute," Tymoshenko said on Telegram, without further explanation.
Kyiv Governor Oleksiy Kuleba is expected to replace Tymoshenko, who was in office since May 2019.
Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov also submitted his resignation, according to the Defense Ministry.
"Vyacheslav Shapovalov, who was responsible for the rear support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, asked to be fired ... as a result of the campaign of accusations related to the procurement of food services," said the statement.
It noted that while Shapovalov said the accusations directed against him were "unfounded and baseless," his resignation was "a worthy act in the traditions of European and democratic politics, a demonstration that the interests of defense are higher than any cabinets or chairs."
Meanwhile, Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko was also dismissed from his post, according to a statement by the Prosecutor General's Office.
"Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin signed an order on voluntary dismissal from the administrative position of Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko," read the statement, without providing any further details.
An investigation by the online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda said Symonenko traveled to Spain for a 10-day holiday in a luxury car owned by Lviv-based businessman Grigory Kozlovsky.
Zelenskyy said in a video address late Monday that the National Defense and Security Council decided to ban government officials from traveling abroad for purposes outside their duties.
The president added that he will reshuffle officials at various levels in ministries, central and local administrative bodies, as well as law enforcement.
Meanwhile, Mykhailo Podolyak, the presidential adviser, said on Twitter: "Zelenskyy’s personnel decisions testify to the key priorities of the state. ... No 'blind eyes.' During the war, everyone should understand their responsibility. The president sees and hears society. And he directly responds to a key public demand – justice for all."