In remarks as Ukraine’s new defense minister, Rustem Umerov vowed to wrest back control of "every centimeter" of Ukrainian land from Russia and bring home all those in captivity.
He said he will “do everything possible and impossible for the victory of Ukraine — when we liberate every centimeter of our country and every one of our people,” speaking shortly after the Ukrainian parliament approved his appointment.
“We will definitely return everyone who, unfortunately, are temporarily in captivity. All of them — children, prisoners of war, political prisoners, civilians,” Umerov said.
Umerov has been prominently involved with the return of prisoners of war.
“Forty-two million Ukrainians stand behind every soldier. Behind every soldier is a ministry that will do everything to protect and provide for all our people. Our people, their lives and dignity are our priority and highest value,” he added.
Some background: Umerov replaces Oleksii Reznikov, whose long tenure – he had been in the post since before the full-scale war started – had been damaged by contract scandals involving the defense ministry.
Reznikov submitted his resignation on Monday after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy cited the need for "new approaches," with the conflict entering a critical phase.