At least a dozen senior Ukrainian officials were dismissed Tuesday over allegations of corruption, the embattled country's largest shake-up since the war began in February. Several cabinet ministers, as well as leaders of battleground provinces Kherson and Zaporizhzhia (see list), were accused of taking bribes or facilitating inflated purchasing contracts.
Ukraine ranks 122 out of 180 countries on the annual Corruption Perceptions Index, the lowest of any European country, other than Russia. Analysts claim its persistent corruption stems partly from an oligarchical system inherited from the Soviet Union after attaining independence in 1991 (see background). Current President Volodymyr Zelenskyy won the election in 2019 on an anticorruption campaign, and the country must demonstrate anticorruption reforms as part of its candidacy for the European Union.
Separately, Germany signaled approval of the transfer of its highly sophisticated
Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, which analysts claim are a significant improvement over those currently in use.