Zelensky dismisses the Prosecutor General and the head of the State Security Service for the “collaboration” of employees with Russia


“Today I made the decision to remove the Prosecutor General from office and dismiss the head of Ukraine’s security service,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address.

The two sacked officials are Attorney General Iryna Venediktova and the head of the State Security Service (SBU) Ivan Bakanov, a longtime associate of the president.

Zelensky said many officials from both departments were suspected of treason.

“As of today, 651 criminal cases have been registered regarding treasonable and collaborative activities of employees of prosecutors’ offices, preliminary investigation bodies and other law enforcement agencies,” he said.

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

Explaining his decision to fire Venediktova and Bakanov, Zelensky said: “Such a spectrum of crimes against the foundations of the national security of the state and the detected links between employees of the Ukrainian security forces and the special services of Russia pose very serious problems questions to the leaders concerned Each of these questions will receive an appropriate answer.

The former head of the Main Security Service Directorate in Crimea was also arrested on suspicion of treason, he said.

“All those who, together with him, were part of a criminal group that worked in the interests of the Russian Federation will also be held responsible. This is about the transfer of secret information to the enemy and other facts cooperation with the Russian special services.”

Senior SBU officials in southern Ukraine were blamed for the ease with which Russian forces were able to capture large areas of the south in the week following the invasion.

Zelensky indicated that there would be other measures.

“The specific actions and any inactions of each security sector and law enforcement official will be assessed. The corresponding inspection of law enforcement agencies has already yielded initial results and will continue.”

Zelensky also said the prime minister would be tasked with stepping up the search for a new head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.

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