Kyiv's Western allies, who have allocated billions of dollars in financial and military support, have been pushing for anti-corruption reforms for years, sometimes as a precondition for aid.

Oleg Nemchinov, a senior government official, announced the departure of five regional governors, whose territories have seen fierce fighting, and four deputy ministers.

They include the heads of the central Dnipropetrovsk region, the northeastern Sumy region, the southern Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, as well as the region surrounding the capital Kyiv.

Nemchinov also announced the dismissal of a deputy defence minister, two deputy ministers of development of communities and territories, and a deputy minister of social policy.

The deputy head of the presidential administration Kyrylo Tymoshenko and deputy prosecutor general Oleksiy Symonenko were also among those who resigned.

Separately, the defence ministry had earlier announced the resignation of deputy minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, who was in charge of the army's logistical support, on the heels of accusations it was signing food contracts at inflated prices.

Local media reports last week accused the ministry of having signed a deal at prices "two to three times higher" than current rates for basic foodstuffs.

Stubborn problem

In a statement, the ministry insisted the accusations were "unfounded and baseless" but said Shapovalov's departure would "preserve the trust of society and international partners".

Tymoshenko, who has worked with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky since his election in 2019 and oversaw regional policy, also announced his resignation Tuesday.

He posted a photo of himself holding a handwritten resignation letter, thanking the president for the "opportunity to do good deeds every day and every minute".

Tymoshenko was implicated in several scandals during his tenure, including in October last year when he was accused of using a car donated to Ukraine for humanitarian purposes.

The departure of Symonenko, a deputy prosecutor general, comes after media reports that he spent a holiday in Spain this winter, reportedly using a car belonging to a Ukrainian businessman.

In his evening address on Monday, Zelensky announced coming "personnel decisions" at various levels and said he was banning officials from travelling abroad for purposes not related to work.

"If they want to rest now, they will rest outside the civil service," Zelensky said.

Transparency International ranked Ukraine 122 out of 180 in its corruption ranking for 2021.

The shakeups come after a Ukrainian deputy minister of development of communities, territories and infrastructure was sacked over the weekend following his arrest on suspicion of embezzlement.

Vasyl Lozynskiy was accused of receiving a bribe to "facilitate" the purchase of generators at inflated prices as Ukraine faces electricity shortages following Russian strikes on the energy grid.

The European Union has highlighted anti-corruption measures as one of the key reforms Ukraine needs to gain candidate status for the bloc.

According to the Centre for Economic Strategy, a Ukrainian think tank, the total amount of Western military and financial support for Kyiv could total $100 billion this year, including more than $40 billion for its armed forces.