Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has said in an interview with Ukrayinska Pravda that so far there has been no talk of his resignation from the post.
"I have not had any conversations about my resignation from this position. I will repeat my answer to other media: 'Every official must realize that their post is not for life. He has to start a stage and finish it. So I am ready for any development of events. I am not ashamed of what I have done. I will definitely have something to show of what I have done. And we'll see what happens. But every time I talk to Ukrayinska Pravda, something really happens, it's an interesting symbol," he said.
The journalists did not specify when the conversation with the minister took place.
This morning, a member of the committee on national security, defence, and intelligence, MP Maryana Bezuhla, wrote on Facebook that the new minister's candidacy is to be considered next week. She did not specify which minister, but according to LB.ua's sources, it is the defence minister
Reznikov has been head of the Defence Ministry since November 2021. In recent weeks, there have been several scandals related to the Defence Ministry in the media. First, it became known about the purchase of food at allegedly inflated prices.
The Defence Ministry and Reznikov explained that the document indicated the cost of not only the product but also its delivery, including to the combat zone, and in some cases, its preparation. Reznikov also said that there were technical errors in the document. Information about possible abuses in the Defence Ministry in the procurement of food for the military is being checked by the NABU. Several officials resigned over the scandal, including Deputy Defence Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, although the ministry said the accusations were "unfounded and groundless".
On 1 February, Shapovalov and another Defence Ministry official who resigned during the scandal, a former deputy director of the Defence Ministry's public procurement department, Bohdan Khmelnytskyy, were served notices of suspicion. The case concerns the purchase of low-quality bulletproof vests. A former deputy director of the state enterprise Promoboronexport was also suspected.
In addition, reports about the allegedly pro-Russian past of the acting head of the department, Oleksandr Liyev, appeared in the media. Liyev was appointed acting head of the department in the summer of 2022. This week, Vitaliy Shabunin, head of the Anti-Corruption Action Centre, said that Liyev is the person authorised to sign arms contracts with the Defence Ministry and that it "depends on him from whom, for how much and what kind of weapons and military equipment Ukraine buys. He also has all the information about foreign components, the schedule of payments under the contracts, the location of production facilities in Ukraine and the delivery time".
Liyev was the minister of resorts and tourism of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea under Viktor Yanukovych, and, according to Shabunin, was awarded the Order of St. Anna the Third Degree in 2013 by the head of the Russian Imperial House, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, and in an interview with Hromadske, allegedly called on Kyiv to "hear Crimea" and "legalize the referendum" on its status. In addition, according to Shabunin, "Liyev allegedly coordinated the setting up of pickets and roadblocks near lighthouses that were supposed to be allocated to Ukraine according to the distribution of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, but were illegally held by the Russian Navy. The pro-Russian activists countered Ukrainian military sailors who tried to enter the territory of the lighthouses in Greater Yalta, Feodosiya and near Henichesk".
On 1 February, Liyev commented on the published data and noted that a third information campaign was launched against him. Liyev cited arguments that, in his opinion, deny his pro-Russian credentials, and added that in 2014-2022 he had successfully passed special security clearances four times and received awards from the Main Intelligence Directorate, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and the Defence Ministry.
On 2 February, Liyev announced that he had resigned. On the same day, journalists spread information that Liyev had a Russian passport and published a scan of this "document". Later, they said that this information was untrue, as they had found no evidence of a Russian passport.