The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s lower house of parliament, confirmed Rustem Umerov as the country’s new Defence Minister on Wednesday, Yaroslav Zheleznyak of the Holos party announced.
A total of 338 deputies voted to approve Umerov’s appointment and one abstained. There were no votes against Umerov, himself a former member of the chamber.
Umerov was put in charge of Ukraine’s State Property Fund in 2022, having previously served as chair of a parliamentary committee on human rights and the re-integration of Ukraine’s occupied territories while a deputy. He was also a member of Ukraine’s delegation at peace talks with Russia in the early weeks of the 2022 invasion.
The Verkhovna Rada accepted the resignation of Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukraine’s previous defence minister, on Tuesday. Reznikov had served in the role since November 2021. “It was an honour for me to serve the Ukrainian nation and to work for the Ukrainian military during the past 22 months, the most difficult period in our country’s modern history,” Reznikov tweeted.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that the defence ministry needed “new approaches and other means of interaction with both the military and society at large”.