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Zelenskyy fires Ukrainian military conscription officials in anti-corruption drive

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday dismissed officials in charge of military conscription across each region of the country, citing corruption allegations that he said could amount to treason.

"We are dismissing all regional military commissars," Zelenskyy said in a post on social media, following a meeting with senior military leadership.

"This system should be run by people who know exactly what war is and why cynicism and bribery at a time of war is high treason," he added. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a file photo from June 2023. Vitalii Nosach/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

Kyiv has been conscripting Ukrainians for assault battalions for its counteroffensive against Russian forces in an effort to recapture territory controlled by Moscow's troops.

The move reflects Ukraine's efforts to clamp down on graft and corruption as part of sweeping reforms requested by Western institutions like the European Union, which Ukraine hopes to join.

"During the inspection of the territorial recruitment centres, law enforcement agencies exposed cases of corruption," the presidency said in a separate statement.

It said Ukraine's general mobilisation was a key area in which inspectors had uncovered instances of foul play.

These "pose a threat to Ukraine's national security and undermine confidence in state institutions," the statement said.

It added that Ukraine's security council recommended that the head of the army select replacements who have battlefield experience and were vetted by Ukraine's intelligence services. 

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