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Ukraine president appoints new defense officials

PTI | Last Updated: Thursday, July 3, 2014 - 16:30

Kiev: Ukraine`s president has appointed new officials to top defense posts as he pledged to stamp out the corruption that has left the country`s armed forces faltering before a pro-Russian insurgency.

A statement published online late yesterday announced the appointments of Col Gen Valery Heletey as defense minister and Lt Gen Viktor Muzhenko as chief of the military`s General Staff.

Poroshenko also appointed Yury Kosyuk, an agriculture magnate and one of Ukraine`s richest men, to oversee defense issues in the presidential administration, and promised to "purge the army of thieves and grafters."

Accusations of corruption have been rife as Kiev`s operation against the rebels continues.

Kiev has struggled to assert control over the country`s industrial east, where fighting between government troops and pro-Russia separatists has claimed more than 400 lives since April.

First Published: Thursday, July 3, 2014 - 16:30

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