President Volodymyr Zelensky, on February 5, underscored the need for new leadership within the Ministry of Veterans Affairs following the resignation of Minister Yuliia Laputina. During a video address, Zelensky highlighted discussions with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal about enhancing the nation's policy toward veterans, signaling a broader initiative to inject "strength, fresh energy, and sufficient leadership" across all government sectors.
The president's remarks come amidst a broader anticipated reshuffle of Ukraine's leadership, reflecting an effort to bolster the country's resolve and effectiveness in the ongoing conflict and its aftermath.
"We must win this war. And do the maximum this year, even more than possible," Zelensky stated, emphasizing the urgency and the high stakes involved.
Laputina's resignation, submitted to the Ukrainian parliament, is set for consideration on February 6, as confirmed by parliament Chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk. This development follows Zelensky's hints at a "large-scale reset" of the country's leadership, including rumors regarding the potential dismissal of Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi.
Zelensky and Shmyhal's discussions also touched upon the need to address "existing problems" within the state's policy on war veterans and to enhance public confidence. This indicates a comprehensive review and potential overhaul of how Ukraine supports its veterans, a crucial aspect of national policy given the country's military challenges since 2014.
The Ministry for Veterans Affairs, established in 2018 in response to the conflict in Donbas and the annexation of Crimea, plays a pivotal role in the social protection of war veterans. With around a million Ukrainians having become combat veterans since the Russian invasion of Donbas, as noted by former Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov in August of the previous year, the ministry's responsibilities are both vast and critical.
Laputina, who has led the ministry since December 2020, brought extensive experience from her tenure in the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Her departure marks a new chapter for the ministry as Ukraine navigates the complexities of war and the essential task of supporting its veterans.