Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has defended the dismissal of senior government officials as "necessary" in the wake of an alleged corruption scandal in the army.

"We need a strong state," he said in his daily video address on Tuesday evening.

The layoffs are "necessary for our defense - and it helps our rapprochement with the European institutions".

"All internal problems that prevent the strengthening of the state are being settled - and they will be settled in the future," said the President.

Several deputy ministers, governors and senior officials resigned or were fired on Tuesday as a result of an alleged corruption scandal in the Ukrainian army.

Earlier reports had been published accusing the Ministry of Defense of contracting at inflated prices when procuring food.

They are said to have been two to three times higher than the usual purchase prices.

If the reports are true, it would be the first such major corruption scandal in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began.

The Ministry of Defense had denied the allegations.

Cautious response to tank deliveries

Zelenskyy expressed reservations about reports about the release from Berlin for the delivery of Leopard main battle tanks to his country.

He is grateful, but it's not about 15 tanks, the need is much greater, he said.

His head of office Andrij Jermak, on the other hand, was clearly pleased.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba hinted at the next big debate - namely, Ukraine's desire for modern Western-made fighter jets.

According to information from coalition circles, the federal government wants to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and also allow allies to do so.

The Chancellery has not yet commented on this.

According to "Spiegel", it is planned to equip at least one company with the Leopard 2A6 version from Bundeswehr stocks.

This would require 14 of the weapon systems.

In addition, it became known through US media that the USA now wants to deliver Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine.

This was reported by the "New York Times" on Tuesday evening (local time), citing insiders.

According to the newspaper, there could be official confirmation as early as this Wednesday.

It could be 30 to 50 tanks.

Poland had previously announced the delivery of a Leopard company to Kyiv.

Finland and other countries are also ready to supply Ukraine with leopards.

Joy in Zelenskyj's office about the delivery of main battle tanks

"We will have everything, everything for the reconquest of our territories and for the counter-offensive," wrote Zelenskyy's chancellery chief Andriy Yermak.

“Tank drivers will be happy, as will artillerymen and later also pilots.” Soon “everything will be Ukraine again”.

By referring to pilots, the chancellery chief anticipated a new discussion that Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had hinted at a few minutes earlier.

"Now F-16?

Yes! I'll take care of that,” he wrote on Facebook of a conversation with an unnamed European colleague.

In doing so, he revealed the next step of the Ukrainian leadership, which now also wants to endeavor to deliver combat aircraft in the near future.

The Ukrainian military has repeatedly pointed out that it also needs combat aircraft to increase its combat effectiveness.

The former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, also welcomed the planned delivery to his country - and immediately made further demands for modern fighter jets.


Jesus Christ!" he wrote on Twitter, "And now, dear allies, let's build a strong fighter jet coalition for Ukraine, with F-16s and F-35s, Eurofighters and Tornados, Rafale and Gripen jets – and everything you can deliver to Ukraine.” Melnyk is now his country's deputy foreign minister.