Ukraine Reconstruction Official Resigns, Highlighting Tensions

A Ukrainian official with a long record of anti-corruption advocacy resigned on Monday from a government agency overseeing mostly Western-financed reconstruction work in Ukraine, citing poor management of funds. His departure highlights the tension inside the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky over the allocation of wartime aid.

The official, Mustafa Nayyem, who had been director of the State Agency for Restoring Ukraine, did not allege any outright embezzlement. But his claims of abuse and mismanagement risked setting back efforts by the government to assuage concerns among the United States and other allies about providing billions in aid to Ukraine’s war effort.

He was the second top official involved in Ukraine’s reconstruction effort to depart in the last month, following the firing in May of Oleksandr Kubrakov, the minister of infrastructure. Mr. Kubrakov’s ministry oversaw the agency Mr. Nayyem headed.

Mr. Kubrakov was perceived in Kyiv political circles as a figure aligned with the United States on spending priorities for rebuilding aid — a stance that grated on other leaders in the government who resented what they viewed as intrusive American oversight. Both he and Mr. Nayyem had spoken out against bribery in the construction business.

The Agency for Restoring Ukraine was established during the war to streamline and safeguard funding for reconstruction, which is expected to eventually draw in tens of billions of dollars in foreign aid, given the scale of destruction during the war. Ukraine and some allies are promoting the seizure of Russian assets to finance the work.

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