The heads that rolled in Ukraine’s post-Feb 24 shake-up

Deputy head of the President's Office, deputy prosecutor general, several regional governors including a Kyiv governor, but also more surprisingly a deputy defence minister were among officials who resigned or were removed from office on Tuesday in Ukraine's biggest internal shake-up since it was invaded by Russia on February 24 last year.

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Deputy head of president’s office

One of several deputy heads of the President’s Office as of 2019, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, had been responsible for overseeing Ukraine’s regions. He toured Ukraine during the war, speaking of the reconstruction efforts in liberated areas and briefing reporters about the aftermath of the Russian air strikes.

His image was tarnished last October when he was slammed by local reporters for using a Chevrolet Tahoe SUV donated for humanitarian purposes for his own travels. While Tymoshenko acknowledged making use of the vehicle, he had washed hands of any wrongdoing.

In December, another probe found that Tymoshenko was living in a 1,200-sq-metre mansion. Ukrainska Pravda, which reported the story, quoted Tymoshenko as saying that it had been security reasons which prompted him to live in the rented house.

Deputy defence minister

Responsible for overseeing the military's supplies of provisions such as food and clothing, Vyacheslav Shapovalov was one of several deputies to Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

He stepped down by his free will after a public outrage following the publication of a January 21 article in Ukrainian media outlet which alleged that the ministry had overpaid for food.

The allegations have been disavowed by Shapovalov and the ministry who said his resignation would help to maintain public trust.

Deputy prosecutor general

One of Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin’s deputies, Oleksiy Symonenko, was also among those who stepped down. He was rebuked in local media following the surfacing of accusations that he had taken a holiday during the war in the Spanish resort of Marbella with his family. He has refrained from publicly commenting on the allegations. Under wartime laws, men between 18 and 60 are generally not allowed to go abroad without government permission.

Ukraine President Zelenskyy said on Monday he had banned government officials from leaving Ukraine for any reasons other than official ones. The president, however, did not overtly mention Symonenko.

Governor of Dnipropetrovsk region

Being in Ukraine’s service as the Dnipropetrovsk region’s governor since 2015, Valentyn Reznichenko had already once been dismissed from the role by Zelenskyy in 2019 but was reappointed in December 2020. Rezniczhenko was in charge of an immensely important region being the main wartime logistical and medical hub for Ukraine's eastern battlefront.

Governor of Kherson region

Aged 44, Yaroslav Yanushevych was appointed governor of the Kherson region in August 2022 when almost the entire province had still been occupied by Russian forces. By January 24 Ukraine managed to reclaim territories on the west bank of the Dnipro River, where the region’s eponymous capital is located.

Governor of Kyiv region

Oleksiy Kuleba, appointed governor of Kyiv region on February 8 last year, just two weeks before Russia launched its invasion, is also among the shake-up toll. When Moscow attacked, he was replaced by a top military official in March but returned to office in May, after Russian troops withdrew from the region.

Governor of Zaporizhzhia region

Oleksandr Starukh was appointed governor of the southern Zaporizhzhia region in December 2020. Today, more than 60 percent of the territory is occupied by Russia.

Governor of Sumy region

Dmytro Zhyvytskyi had served as governor of Sumy region since June 2021. Thousands of Russian troops invaded his region on February 24 last year but after encountering fierce resistance, Moscow pulled out from the province in early April.

Two deputy ministers of regional development

Dismissed as deputy ministers of regional development were Ivan Lukeria and Vyacheslav Nehoda. Their departures, analysts felt, could portend their ministry’s integration into one of the larger departments.

Deputy minister for social policy

Vitaliy Muzychenko no longer plays his role as deputy minister for social policy. According to his website, since 2007 he had occupied various roles in the ministry.