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New Ukraine interior minister vows crackdown on organised crime, graft

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By Reuters
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KYIV – Denys Monastyrskiy, a lawmaker from the ruling Servant of the People Party, was approved as Ukraine’s new interior minister by parliament on Friday and he promised to crack down on rampant corruption and organised crime.

Monastyrskiy, 41, was chosen by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to replace Arsen Avakov, who had been in office since 2014 and resigned earlier this week.

Monastyrskiy, a lawyer, previously chaired the parliamentary committee on law enforcement issues for two years.

He told parliament that his goals as interior minister would be fighting organised crime and state graft as well as removing corrupt officials from the ex-Soviet republic’s police forces.

“I will mercilessly fight those who, contrary to the oath, use their powers for their own enrichment and violate the rights of people,” Monastyrskiy told lawmakers.

Zelenskiy and Avakov did not comment on the reason for the change. The two had been at odds in recent weeks over the investigation into the killing of an investigative journalist in a car bombing in central Kyiv in 2016.