Did he jump or was he pushed? Allegations emerge from Kiev that Ukrainian interior minister Avakov has been ordered to resign by the Americans
The resignation of notorious Kyiv Home Secretary Arsen Avakov may not have been his personal decision, and he could have been “advised” to leave his post by the new acting US Ambassador to Kiev, George Kent .
This is according to Ukrainian media outlet Strana, which claims to have been informed by a number of lawmakers that Kent himself asked Avakov to step down, as US and Ukrainian anti-corruption activists believe the Home Secretary is suspending reforms. They would also think that Avakov is one of the eminent people who preserve the influence of the oligarchs in Ukraine.
The resignation came just a day after the two men had reunited. Avakov was the first Ukrainian civil servant Kent met after being assigned to his post.
ровів зустріч із добрим ругом України 🇺🇦 заступником @StateDept George P. Kent. – стратегічний партнер України, ий ає тверду та послідовну позицію щодо незалежності Укранни, їїPатXCтXBTPS:pic.twitter.com/hG9GE4CgEh
– Arsen Avakov (@AvakovArsen) July 12, 2021
Avakov is the longest-serving minister in the government, having been first appointed in 2014 by President Petro Poroshenko. When Volodymyr Zelensky came to power in 2019, he kept the Interior Minister in office, and he was therefore widely regarded as one of the most influential people in Ukrainian politics.
Throughout his role, Avakov received a deluge of criticism, having been accused of being close to the far-right neo-Nazi Azov battalion. He was also attacked for the perceived slowness of law enforcement reform and the lack of action against corruption.
According to a source from Strana, Kent informed Avakov that it was time to leave, promising him a quiet retirement.
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Kent was appointed acting US ambassador to Kiev last week. He is currently Assistant Under Secretary of State and has worked in the State Department’s Foreign Service since 1992. In 2019, he became a household name after giving a statement as part of the US President’s impeachment inquiry. Donald Trump, as a witness when Congress determined whether lawyer Rudy Giuliani attempted to undermine former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich.
Strana also signaled that there could be another explanation for Avakov’s resignation: Zelensky wants to show he’s the most influential person in the country, not Kent. According to a source in the publication, Zelensky considered the Avakov-Kent meeting a threat to his power, noting that rumors circulate in Kiev that the president has now banned his party officials and MPs from meeting Kent without permission. express.
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