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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Minister Named in Kiev

KIEV -- Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma appointed a civilian as his defense minister on Friday, completing a clean-out of key ministries a month after taking office.

Kuchma sacked Vitaly Radetsky and replaced him with Deputy Prime Minister Valery Shmarov, who has worked for many years in Ukraine's giant military-industrial complex.

Shmarov will be the first defense minister within the Commonwealth of Independent States without a military rank or background. His appointment is subject to parliamentary approval.

The president also removed veteran Foreign Minister Anatoly Zlenko Thursday, appointing in his place career diplomat Hennady Udovenko.