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Ukraine’s Zelenskiy to replace Prime Minister amid ratings drop

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is set to replace his prime minister after the government’s poor performance dragged down his ratings.

Premier Oleksiy Honcharuk was the chief casualty of a cabinet reshuffle that will also see Finance Minister Oksana Markarova depart, according to lawmakers speaking at the end of a ruling-party meeting on Tuesday evening.

Parliament will meet Wednesday to approve the personnel changes. Honcharuk’s deputy, Denys Shmyhal, is Zelenskiy’s pick to take charge, while Ihor Umanskyi -- finance minister in 2009 -- is set to take over from Markarova.

The changes come at a key juncture.

Weighing a delayed $5.5 billion loan, the International Monetary Fund frets about billionaire Igor Kolomoisky’s efforts to undo the nationalization of Ukraine’s biggest bank, which he used to own. Elsewhere, the hryvnia has lost 4.4% in 2020, while the eastern European country just confirmed its first case of coronavirus.