Ukraine has promised sweeping personnel changes in its military and security forces as allies jostle for control of tanks and other weapons. President Petro Poroshenko said he had ordered an overhaul of the country’s armed forces and would soon name a new minister of defense. He did not say who the new minister would be.
Poroshenko also said he was ordering changes in the country’s security services, including the SBU domestic intelligence agency. He said the changes would be aimed at making the forces more effective and professional.
The move comes as the Ukrainian government is facing pressure from the United States and other Western allies to improve its military capabilities. The US has sent tanks and other heavy weapons to Ukraine in recent weeks to help the country fight Russian-backed separatists in the east.
Russia, meanwhile, has been trying to strengthen its own military presence in Ukraine. Moscow has sent troops and weapons to support rebels in the eastern part of the country, and has set up a network of military bases in the region.
The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has been ongoing since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula. The two countries have been locked in a tense standoff since then, with each side accusing the other of violating international law. With the US and other Western countries increasing their support for Ukraine, the conflict is showing no signs of easing.