Ukrainian Defense Secretary Oleksii Reznikov tweeted Tuesday that reforms continue, “even during the war,” in comments that came amid a string of government resignations and firings and rumors that he would be replaced.
“Thank you all for your support, as well as constructive criticism. We draw conclusions,” Reznikov said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has not publicly remarked on comments from a member of parliament suggesting Reznikov would be transferred to another position.
In his nightly address Monday, Zelenskyy said his government is “strengthening our management positions,” including appointing “managers with military experience” in border and frontline regions.
Reznikov has said that while he was not planning to resign, any decision about his future would be made by the president.
The shakeup of Zelenskyy’s government in late January included the resignation of Deputy Defense Minister Viacheslav Shapovalov, who was in charge of logistical support for Ukraine’s forces. He cited allegations about a food procurement scandal that he denies.
Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia could be preparing an offensive to show gains as the one-year anniversary of its invasion of Ukraine approaches.
Britain’s defense ministry said Tuesday Russia has likely been trying to restart offensive operations in Ukraine since early January, and that its goal “is almost certainly to capture the remaining Ukrainian-held parts of Donetsk Oblast.”
Britain’s assessment said it is “unlikely that Russia can build up the forces needed to substantially affect the outcome of the war within the coming weeks.”
UN chief warns of escalation
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday warned nations that he fears the likelihood of further escalation in the Russia-Ukraine conflict means the world is heading toward a “wider war.”
“The prospects for peace keep diminishing. The chances of further escalation and bloodshed keep growing,” he told diplomats in New York. “I fear the world is not sleepwalking into a wider war. I fear it is doing so with its eyes wide open.”
As Ukraine awaits more weapons from the West to repel Russian forces, Switzerland is close to breaking with a centuries-long tradition as a neutral state, as pro-Ukrainian sentiments pervade public and political sectors, pressuring the government to end its ban on exports of Swiss weapons.
Under Swiss neutrality, dating back to 1815 and enshrined by treaty in 1907, Switzerland will not send weapons directly or indirectly to combatants in a war.
Lawmakers are divided on the issue.
“We want to be neutral, but we are part of the Western world,” said Thierry Burkart, leader of the center-right FDP party, who has submitted a motion to the government to allow arms re-exports to countries with similar democratic values to Switzerland.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.