Sunday, July 21, 2024

Ukraine: Zelensky fires top officials Irina Venediktova and Ivan Bakanov due to staff ‘cooperation’ with Russia


“Today I took the decision to dismiss the Prosecutor General from his post and to dismiss the head of the Security Service of Ukraine,” Zelensky said in his video night speech.

The two officials who were dismissed are Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova and head of the State Security Service Ivan Bakanov, a longtime aide to the president.

Zelensky said several officials in both administrations are accused of treason.

“As of today, 651 criminal cases related to treason and cooperation activities of employees of prosecutor’s offices, pre-trial investigative bodies, and other law enforcement agencies have been registered,” he said.

“In particular, more than 60 employees of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Security Service of Ukraine remained in the occupied territories and acted against our state.”

Explaining his decision to remove Venediktova and Bakanov, Zelensky said: “Such a set of crimes against the foundations of the national security of the state and the revealed connections between the personnel of the Ukrainian security forces and the Russian special services are very dangerous. Questions for the relevant leadership. Each of these questions will get an appropriate answer.”

He said that the former head of the Main Directorate of the Crimean Security Service was also arrested on suspicion of treason.

“Anyone with whom he was part of a criminal group that worked for the Russian Federation will also be held accountable. This is about passing on classified information to the enemy and other facts of cooperation with the Russian special services.”

Senior Officials of the State Security Administration in the South Ukraine He was blamed The ease with which the Russian forces were able to seize large areas of the south Within a week of the invasion.

Zelensky indicated that there will be more action.

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“Specific actions and any inaction by each official in the security sector and in law enforcement agencies will be evaluated. The corresponding inspection of law enforcement agencies has already yielded the first results and will continue.”

Zelensky also said that the prime minister will intensify the search for a new head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.