Kyiv, Jul 18 (EFE).- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has dismissed the head of country’s security agency and the state prosecutor general, citing treason and collaboration with Russia by staff in their agencies.
Zelenskky announced the dismissal of SBU chief Ivan Bakanov, his childhood friend, and prosecutor general Irina Venediktova in a video message late Sunday.
“I made a decision to remove the prosecutor general from office, and to dismiss the head of the security service of Ukraine,” he said.
This is the largest government shake-up since the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end of February.
“As of today, 651 criminal proceedings have been registered regarding treason and collaboration activities of employees of prosecutor’s offices, pretrial investigation bodies, and other law enforcement agencies,” Zelenskyy 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,” he added.
“Such an array of crimes against the foundations of the national security of the state and the connections detected between the employees of the security forces of Ukraine and the special services of Russia pose very serious questions to the relevant leadership,” Zelenskyy said.
Venediktova will be replaced by Oleksiy Simonenko, while a replacement has not yet been announced for Bakanov, who was considered among the members of the president’s closest circle of friends. EFE