Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has sacked all regional officials in charge of military conscription, accusing them of taking bribes and smuggling people out of the country.
Zelensky said that the corruption allegations posed a threat to Ukraine’s national security and undermined confidence in state institutions. He also said that bribery at a time of war is “high treason.”
More than 30 people face criminal charges in connection with the corruption scandal. The charges include taking cash and cryptocurrency bribes or helping people eligible to be called up to fight to leave Ukraine.
Replacement officials will be chosen from candidates who have battlefield experience and have been vetted by the intelligence service.
The sackings come amid efforts to bolster the armed forces, as Ukraine’s counter-offensive operation continues. Ukraine’s general mobilisation rules mean that all men over the age of 18 capable of fighting are eligible to be conscripted, and most adult men under the age of 60 are prohibited from leaving the country.