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Zelenskyy introduces new Defence Minister Rustem Umerov

The Head of State also listed the tasks that the new Defence Minister is currently facing: fighting bureaucracy and corruption, etc. 

Zelenskyy introduces new Defence Minister Rustem Umerov
Photo: Facebook/Rustem Umerov

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has introduced the new Ukrainian Minister of Defence Rustem Umerov, says the presidential press service.

"We need a new subjectivity of the Defence Ministry. This is the ministry responsible for coordinating the entire defence sector. The Ukrainian soldier is a key priority for the defence forces," the president said.

He noted that if changes in the defence forces are necessary for both benefit and strength of the soldier, then it should be done immediately. This applies to everything from bureaucratic procedures that take up time and energy of soldiers to their provision.

"Everything that can be digitised should be digitised. Every bureaucratic procedure that can be canceled should be canceled. Every thing that can save the lives and health of soldiers must be found and supplied to the Ukrainian army. We need a new philosophy of attitude towards Ukrainian soldiers: people are not consumables. Their time and energy are the value of the state," Zelenskyy said.

The Head of State noted that the Ukrainian Defence Forces have the world's largest experience of successful defence in modern warfare. Everything that provides such protection should work for every Ukrainian soldier, for the state as a whole and for the security of partners. According to the President, this should be done deliberately. This goes for everything: from training soldiers to medical support for brigades, from combat support to communication with soldiers' families.

"Most importantly, we need more trust. Trust in the decisions that are made, trust in the procurement that is carried out, trust in the supplies that are planned and carried out, and trust in communication between the units and the parts of the Ukrainian defence system they need. I am confident that Rustem Umerov is able to ensure this," Zelenskyy summarised.

For his part, Umerov named 5 priorities outlined by the President:

  • Formation of the Ministry's subjectivity: it should become the main institution for coordinating the Defence Forces.
  • The military is the highest value
  • Strengthening and expanding the international coalition
  • digitalisation and zero tolerance for corruption
  • development of Ukrainian production.

Yesterday, on 6 September, the Verkhovna Rada appointed Rustem Umerov, a former MP from the Voice party and former head of the State Property Fund, as Minister of Defence of Ukraine.

The previous Defence Minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, was dismissed by MPs after a series of procurement-related scandals.

The new Defence Minister Rustem Umerov intends to introduce an electronic military ID card and digitalise the military registration and enlistment office. 

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