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Originally published July 2, 2014 at 6:24 AM | Page modified July 3, 2014 at 3:20 AM

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Ukraine president appoints new defense officials

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.


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KIEV, Ukraine —

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 Wednesday 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.



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