Ukrainian special troops stand guard in front of the parliament in Kiev. A new defense minister was named Tuesday. (Agence France-Presse)
WARSAW — Col. Gen. Mikhail Koval has replaced retired Adm. Ihor Tenyukh as Ukraine’s minister of defense. Koval was appointed by the country’s parliament March 25 following his predecessor’s dismissal.
Koval was voted in by 251 out of the 314 members of parliament who were present at the vote. Prior to taking the post, he served as a high-ranking official in the administration of the country’s Border Guard.
Meanwhile, acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said the government is aiming to increase the funding for the country’s armed forces, as it “affects the life and security of every citizen of Ukraine,” according to a statement released by the Defense Ministry.
This follows an earlier statement by Ukraine’s Prime Minister Areniy Yatsenuk who said the government decided to set aside an additional 6.8 billion hryvnia (US $622) for defense spending. The funds are to be used to mobilize troops, modernize their weapons and improve the military’s operational capacities, according to Yatsenuk.
Turchynov ordered the Ukrainian military personnel stationed in Crimea to evacuate the Russian-controlled peninsula March 24. ■