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Who’s Ukraine’s new defence minister Rustem Umerov?

Oleksii Reznikov, chief of Ukraine’s defence ministry blighted by alleged corruption, was dismissed on Sunday. However who’s his successor?

Ukraine has a brand new defence minister, Rustem Umerov. 


President Volodymyr Zelenskyy introduced the dismissal of his predecessor on Sunday, saying “new approaches” had been wanted within the defence ministry.

But who’s he? 

The 41-year-old is a distinguished official of the Crimean Tatar group who has represented Kyiv in delicate negotiations with Moscow, together with peace talks at the beginning of the warfare.

Umerov was allegedly poisoned throughout negotiations on ending the Russian invasion in March 2022. Nonetheless, he later denied the experiences, urging folks to not belief  “unverified data”.

The ex-MP informed the BBC on the time he was decided to convey a couple of “political and diplomatic decision” to Russia’s “brutal” warfare, suggesting figuring out an answer required braveness. 

Umerov was born in what was then the Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan, the place his household had been exiled underneath Stalin. As a baby, his household resettled in Crimea when the Tatars had been allowed to return throughout the 80s and 90s 

He started his profession within the telecom business in 2004 and has been an MP since 2019.

Umerov takes over a defence ministry blighted by accusations of corruption, with a number of scandals surrounding the procurement of products and tools for the military at inflated costs hitting the headlines just lately.

A number of arrests have additionally rocked regional recruitment workplaces, the place officers have been accused of taking bribes to permit males to keep away from Ukraine’s navy draft.

Zelenskyy has vowed to weed out corruption, seeing it as important to the continuation of essential Western assist and Ukraine’s want to hitch the EU and NATO. 

As an MP, Umerov co-chaired the Crimean Platform, which coordinated worldwide diplomatic efforts to reverse Russia’s 2014 annexation of the peninsula. 


He was additionally an adviser to the historic chief of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Dzhemilev, for a few years.

Thanks to those roles, Umerov turned a central pillar of Zelenskyy’s worldwide outreach efforts, focussing on selling ties within the Islamic world.

Making up 12-15% of Crimea’s inhabitants, Tatars largely boycotted Russia’s referendum, which cemented its management over the Black Sea peninsula. 

Consequently, Moscow outlawed the Mejlis, the standard meeting of the Tatar Muslim minority, branding it an extremist organisation with many members imprisoned.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Umerov participated in discreet negotiations with Moscow on a number of events, specifically on exchanges of prisoners and evacuations of civilians.


He was a part of the Ukrainian delegation that underneath the aegis of Turkey and the UN brokered the grain deal, lifting a Russian blockade so Ukraine may export its grain over the Black Sea.

Russia just lately backed out of the settlement, arguing Kyiv and the West weren’t permitting sufficient Russian exports by means of.

In September 2022, Umerov was appointed head of the State Property Fund, a distinguished place in a rustic the place the privatisation course of is affected by corruption.

In accordance with Transparency Worldwide’s Corruption Perceptions Index, Ukraine ranks 116th out of 180, however efforts lately have seen its place enhance considerably.

Specialists have noticed that Umerov’s appointment to defence minister is unlikely to result in any change on the battlefield. 


Basic Valery Zaluzhny, who’s overseeing the marketing campaign, stays the commander of Ukraine’s armed forces.  

Kyiv’s counteroffensive has encountered stiff Russian resistance, however prime Ukrainian generals stated on Sunday their military has damaged by means of a key line of Russian defences within the southern entrance. 

Asserting he wished to make him defence minister, Zelenskyy indicated on Sunday he would formally current Umerov’s nomination to parliament this week. 

“Parliament is aware of this particular person properly and Umerov doesn’t want a further introduction,” stated the Ukrainian president.

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