President Vladimir Zelensky of Ukraine is reportedly seeking candidates to replace Aleksey Reznikov as the minister of defense, according to a leading Ukrainian daily, Ukrainskaya Pravda. The outlet cited sources within the Kiev government, stating that the possibility of Reznikov’s resignation has shifted from theoretical to practical. The report also mentioned two potential candidates for the position: Alexander Kubrakov, the current Infrastructure Minister, and Alexander Kamyshin, the Strategic Industries Minister. It remains uncertain whether there are more candidates being considered for the role.
Interestingly, it has been suggested that Reznikov himself is not opposed to becoming the ambassador to Great Britain. However, it is yet to be confirmed if this option is under serious consideration. The idea of Reznikov being sent to the UK as an ambassador was first brought up by MP Aleksey Goncharenko on August 1.
Zelensky recently dismissed the previous Ukrainian ambassador to London, Vadim Pristayko, after he publicly criticized the president’s sarcastic tone towards Ukraine’s Western suppliers of weapons and ammunition during the NATO summit in Vilnius on July 21.
Reznikov has positioned himself as a key figure in securing Western weapons for Ukraine. In an interview with the US outlet Politico in October 2022, he proudly claimed to have figured out the Pentagon’s political process, describing his tactic as persistently raising the bar until the Americans yielded.
Reznikov’s statements about Ukraine being an ideal proving ground for Western military equipment, as well as his hopes of acquiring main battle tanks and fighter jets, have been met with mixed reactions. While he expressed optimism about receiving tanks in January, it was later revealed that his ministry had been paying inflated prices for supplies. Reznikov attributed this to a “common technical error,” where eggs were priced at an “anomalous price” of 17 hryvnia ($0.46) each, instead of being measured by weight.
Rumors of Reznikov’s potential replacement began circulating in February. David Arakhamia, the leader of the ruling party’s bloc in parliament, suggested that Reznikov would be rotated to the strategic industries portfolio and replaced by Kirill Budanov, the military intelligence chief. In response, Reznikov claimed to be unaware of these plans and expressed reluctance to agree.
The search for a new defense minister comes at a crucial time for Ukraine, as it faces ongoing security challenges. President Zelensky’s decision on who will fill this role will undoubtedly impact the country’s defense strategies and international relations. The situation is one to watch closely as Ukraine navigates its path forward.