Ukraine to fire all regional military recruitment chiefs

KYIV (Reuters) -Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced the dismissal of the heads of all the country’s regional military recruitment centres on Friday amid concerns about corruption.

Zelenskiy said a review of Ukraine’s recruiting centres revealed signs of professional abuse ranging from illegal enrichment to transporting draft-eligible men across the border despite a wartime ban.

“This system should be run by people who know exactly what war is and why cynicism and bribery during war is treason,” he said in a statement.

Kyiv has made cracking down on graft a key priority as it fends off Russia’s full-scale invasion and seeks membership of the European Union.

Zelenskiy said top general Valery Zaluzhny would be responsible for implementing the decision and that new candidates for the posts would first be vetted by Ukraine’s domestic security service, the SBU.

Ukraine has faced recruitment challenges as the war with Russia nears the 18-month mark and the military is occasionally hit by scandals revealing graft or heavy-handed recruitment tactics.

(Reporting by Dan Peleschuk; editing by Tom Balmforth)