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Ukrainian President Sacks Defense Minister, Appoints New One

Former Ukrainian Defense Minister Mykhaylo Yezhel
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has sacked Defense Minister Mykhailo Yezhel, replacing him with Dmytro Salamatin.

No reason was given for the dismissal on February 8 of Yezhel, who had served as defense minister since Yanukovych was elected two years ago.

He has recently come under fire over the slow pace of army reform and has also been accused by the opposition of corruption.

Salamatin, 46, was formerly head of the Ukrainian state company responsible for arms exports and imports.

Yezhel is the second senior minister to leave the government in recent weeks.

Last month Yanukovych dismissed Fedir Yarosenko as finance minister, replacing him with former state security chief Valery Khoroshkovsky.

Compiled from agency reports