President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday decried "revolting" practices exposed during an audit of Ukraine's military recruitment centers and pledged to fix the system by placing in charge people who understood the meaning of war.
Zelensky has expressed indignation at corruption uncovered during the audit last month after a high-profile incident of wrongdoing came to light in the Black Sea port of Odesa.
"We had a detailed conversation," Zelensky said in his nightly video address after meeting Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko and the head of the SBU security service, Vasyl Maliuk.
Abuses and corruption being rooted out for NATO bid
"The investigation is revealing numerous abuses," Zelensky said. "And they are frankly revolting."
The probe of recruitment offices is part of a long-running campaign to root out corruption, a critical issue as Ukraine presses a campaign to join NATO and the European Union.
Zelensky said all the findings of the investigation would be made public and subject to criminal proceedings.
"The conclusion is clear: the recruitment system needs people who understand the value of protecting Ukraine," he said.
"Recruitment centers must be staffed with people who have seen the war, experienced it," he added. "And those who, sadly, may have lost limbs but not their dignity and not Ukraine. Let me thank them."
Corruption in Ukraine's military
The head of a military recruitment center in Odesa accused of corruption and embezzlement was ordered held in pre-trial detention last month.
The official stood accused of acquiring without explanation funds equivalent to a little more than $5 million. Ukrainian media reports said his family had acquired property in Spain.