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Ukraine’s defense minister dismissed after accomplishing task — presidential advisor

October 13, 2014, 10:40 UTC+3 KIEV

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he planned to nominate a candidate for the post of the defense minister on Monday

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Valeriy Heletey

Valeriy Heletey

© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

KIEV, October 13. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey has been dismissed after he has “accomplished his task” and is to be followed by another person who will have “other goals,” presidential advisor Yuriy Lutsenko said on Monday.

On Sunday, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko accepted the resignation of Heletey, 47, whom he appointed in July. Poroshenko said he planned to nominate a candidate for the defense minister on Monday.

Ukrainian news outlet The Insider reported, citing sources in the presidential administration, that Stepan Poltorak, the commander of the National Guard of Ukraine, could become the next defense minister.

The Ukrainian president said he hoped the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, at its session on Tuesday would vote in favor of his nominee, the fourth person to hold the position this year. "The president stressed that it’s time to change the leadership of the military," a statement on the official website of the Ukrainian head of state says.

The embattled defense chief, Heletey has been criticized by Ukrainian politicians for mistakes made during the Kiev’s special operation in eastern Ukraine, as well as for poorly equipped troops and incompetence in military issues.

On October 2, Russia’s Investigative Committee (IC) said it opened criminal cases against Heletey, Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ General Staff Viktor Muzhenko and other senior military officials.

The actions of Ukrainian top defense officials amount to charges of mass murders, use of prohibited warfare means and methods and genocide, the IC said in a statement.

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