Ukraine’s Top Reconstruction Official Quits in Latest Blow for President Zelensky

Ukraine’s Top Reconstruction Official Quits in Latest Blow for President Zelensky

Mustafa Nayyem, the top official overseeing Ukraine’s defense fortifications and reconstruction efforts, announced his resignation on Monday. The news marks the latest high-profile departure that has shaken Western confidence in Ukraine’s government.

Nayyem, who resigned alongside two other officials in Ukraine’s Restoration and Infrastructure Development agency, claimed his work was being undermined by the government.

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Nayyem told the Financial Times that prior to his resignation, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal prohibited him from attending the annual Ukraine Recovery Conference on June 11 and 12 in Berlin. The conference brings together potential donors interested in funding reconstruction projects in parts of Ukraine where infrastructure has been damaged by the war. 

Zelensky is expected to attend the conference and deliver a speech addressing the German parliament while he is there. 

In his resignation letter, Nayyem said that he had faced “systemic obstacles” that made it difficult for him to use his powers effectively, according to the Financial Times.

Nayyem’s resignation raises new questions about reconstruction efforts and the ability to protect critical infrastructure amid the ongoing war. Last month, Ukraine’s minister of infrastructure and deputy prime minister of reconstruction Oleksandr Kubrakov was removed from office following a vote by the Ukrainian parliament.

In recent months, Ukraine’s government has faced a series of personnel challenges. In March, Zelensky dismissed top aid Serhiy Shefir, from his role of first assistant, along with three advisers and two presidential representatives. In September, the country’s defense minister Oleksii Reznikov resigned after months of corruption allegations against his ministry.

Nayyem, an Afghan Ukrainian, first came to prominence for his role in calling for the pro-democracy Euromaidan protests in 2013.

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