Who is the new Defense Minister of Ukraine?

September 4,2023 1326
Who is the new Defense Minister of Ukraine?

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has made a decision to dismiss the Minister of Defense, Oleksii Reznikov. The head of state announced this in a traditional address to the people.

“Oleksii Reznikov went through more than 550 days of full-scale war. I believe that the Ministry needs new approaches and other formats of interaction with the military and society as a whole,” Zelenskyy said. 

On Monday, September 4, Oleksii Reznikov submitted his resignation to the Verkhovna Rada (the parliament) and expressed his readiness to make a report. “Pursuant to the decision by the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, I have submitted a letter of resignation to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. I am ready for my report. Let’s keep the line!” Reznikov said.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine must approve the decision. Zelenskyy proposes to appoint Rustem Umierov, the head of the State Property Fund, in Reznikov’s place.

Rustem Umierov is a Crimean Tatar and an adviser to the leader of the Crimean Tatar people, Mustafa Dzhemilev. The Soviet totalitarian regime forcibly deported the Umierov family from Crimea in 1944, so the future minister was born into a family of engineers in Samarkand, Uzbek SSR. The family only returned to their historical homeland in Ukraine at the end of the 1980s.

The official studied at the Crimean boarding school for gifted children, went on an exchange trip to the United States under the program of future leaders, and later graduated from the National Academy of Management with a degree in Economics (bachelor’s degree) and Finance (master’s degree).

Umierov started his career in the Lifecell company and held various management positions. He was a co-founder of the Bizin Qirim international organization, the Land of the Crimean Tatars NGO, the Development Fund for Crimea, and the founder of a charity fund and an investment company.

Together with his family, he worked on restoring the historical and political rights of Crimean Tatars even before the occupation of Crimea. Currently, he actively lobbies for the adoption of draft laws on indigenous peoples, as well as the status of the Crimean Tatar people. He was the co-chairman of the Crimea Platform deputy association, and Umierov is also a member of the Ukrainian negotiation group with Russia.

Umierov was engaged in communication regarding the exchange of Crimean political prisoners and prisoners of war. In particular, he contributed to releasing two Kremlin political prisoners – Crimean Tatars Ahtem Chiygoz and İlmi Ümerov –  in 2017.

The future minister participates in funding the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders program at Stanford University, which trains Ukrainian politicians, lawyers, social entrepreneurs, business professionals, and public leaders.

Umierov is married and has three children. He has been awarded the Order of Merit III degree.