Ukraine’s Powerful Interior Minister Unexpectedly Steps Down

Ukraine’s longest-serving minister unexpectedly quit without explanation in a move that could signal a wider government reshuffle.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who’s been in his post since deadly street protests toppled the country’s Kremlin-backed leader in 2014, submitted his resignation on Tuesday.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy nominated Denys Monastyrskyi, a member of his party, to replace him. Parliament may discuss Monastyrskyi’s candidacy on Friday.

Avakov, a former businessman, has batted away a litany of scandals since taking charge of Ukraine’s notoriously corrupt law-enforcement agencies. Modernization demanded by voters was sidelined, police-brutality complaints were common and his son narrowly escaped criminal charges.

While he denied any wrongdoing, demonstrations against him in Kyiv were frequent. Avakov’s resignation must be approved by parliament, a step that could happen Thursday.

The defense and justice ministers may also be on their way out, according to the Zerkalo Nedeli newspaper, which cited people it didn’t name. Zelenskiy will meet his party again on July 17 to discuss cabinet changes, the newspaper said.

David Arakhamiya, who heads Zelenskiy’s party in parliament, rejected talk of other ministers resigning.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.