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Rustem Umierov to become Ukraine’s new Defense Minister: What is known

On September 3, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi announced his decision to replace the Defense Minister. Instead of Oleksii Reznikov, the ministry will be headed by Rustem Umierov, chief of the State Property Fund.

Zelenskyi’s announcement was posted on his Telegram channel.

"This week, the parliament will be asked to adopt a personnel decision. I want to outline it now. I decided to replace the Minister of Defense of Ukraine. Oleksii Reznikov has gone through more than 550 days of full-scale war. I believe that the ministry needs new approaches and other formats of interaction, both with the military and with society as a whole. The ministry is now to be headed by Rustem Umierov. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine knows this person well, and Mr. Umierov does not need additional introductions. I expect the parliament to support this candidacy. Autumn is a time to strengthen. Glory to Ukraine!" said Zelensky.

What is known about Rustem Umierov?

Rustem Umierov was born on April 19, 1982. Umerov is one of the first people of Crimean Tatar origin in independent Ukraine to become a minister. He was one of the founders of the Crimean Tatar Community as well as an adviser to the leader of the Crimean Tatar people, Mustafa Dzhemilev.

Umierov graduated from the National Academy of Management with degrees of bachelor of economy and master of finance.

Before moving into politics, Umierov built a business career. He started off as an employee of lifecell, a telecommunications company, holding various management positions between 2004 and 2010. His spheres of responsibility were legal support and logistics. At the same time, Umierov engaged in investing activities.

In 2013, he and his brother founded the ASTEM investment company and the ASTEM Foundation, a charity. ASTEM manages investments in communications, information technologies, and infrastructure.

Before being elected as a member of parliament, Umierov was ASTEM’s CEO.

ASTEM Foundation is one of the donors of Ukrainian Emerging Leaders, a program at Stanford University developed to train Ukrainian policymakers, legal professionals, social entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and leaders of civil society organizations. The goal of the program is to develop leadership skills and further the knowledge base of the fellows to help solve development problems in Ukraine.

In 2019, Umierov was elected as a member of the 9th Convocation Verkhovna Rada, Holos faction. He was secretary of the Committee on Human Rights, De-occupation and Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories, and National Minorities; deputy member of the Permanent Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; and co-chair of the Crimean Platform, a parliamentary caucus.

In September 2020, Umierov was included in the working group for the development of the national strategy for the de-occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

On September 7, 2022, he was appointed head of the State Property Fund.

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