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Zelenskyy reshuffled Defense Council and Presidential Office

Zelenskyy reshuffled Defense Council and Presidential Office Photo: Volodymyr Zelenskyi, President of Ukraine (

In recent days, there have been personnel changes in the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine and the Office of the President. It all started with the replacement of the NSDC Secretary and extended to the President's first assistant.

RBC-Ukraine reports on who has already lost their positions and who has taken seats on Bankova Street.

During the preparation of the publication, decrees and statements of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy were used.

Shakeup at NSDC

On Tuesday, March 26, Zelenskyy issued a decree to dismiss Oleksiy Danilov from the position of NSDC Secretary. Immediately, Oleksandr Lytvynenko, who previously headed the Foreign Intelligence Service, was appointed in his place. Oleg Ivashchenko took Lytvynenko's place in the FIS.

As explained by the president, the change of NSDC Secretary was necessary to rejuvenate the agency, which includes strengthening ties with intelligence.

"Ukraine needs to enhance its ability to forecast and influence processes that affect the country's national security," he noted.

Following Danilov's dismissal, he remained within the government's team. Yesterday, March 29, Zelenskyy announced that the former NSDC Secretary would be appointed as an ambassador to Moldova. However, the corresponding decree has not yet been issued.

Rotation at the President's Office

On Friday, March 29, decrees appeared on the President's Office website announcing the dismissal of two advisors to the Head of the President's Office, Andriy Yermak. Andriy Smyrnov and Oleksiy Dniprov lost their positions.

In their place, Olena Kovalska, who previously worked in the Directorate of Information Policy of the President's Office, and former Deputy Minister of Justice, Iryna Mudra, were appointed. Mudra was dismissed from the Ministry of Justice on the same day.

But the personnel changes on Bankova Street did not end there. Today, Zelenskyy dismissed Serhiy Shefir from the position of his first assistant.

Also today, the following lost their positions:

  • non-staff advisor to the president Oleh Ustenko;
  • non-staff advisor to the president Serhiy Trofimov;
  • non-staff advisor to the president Mykhailo Radutskyi;
  • authorized presidentʼs commissioner for the protection of defendersʼ rights Aliona Verbichka;
  • non-staff commissioner for volunteer affairs Natalia Pushkaryova.

So far, Zelenskyy has not explained the personnel changes at the President's Office.

Government downsizing

In mid-March, in an interview with French television channels, Zelenskyy did not rule out changes in the composition of the government team to save state funds that could be spent on defense funding.

"There are steps to reduce certain positions. We have a war budget. And first of all, the priority is war. We allocate all the money we have to it. If it requires reducing certain institutions and even ministries during the war, then we will do it," explained the head of state.

As Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stated, the number of ministries in Ukraine could be reduced by a third. According to him, the optimal number of ministers is 15-16.