Ukraine World

Ukraine sacks security chief over treasonable Russia links

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Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday announced that he had terminated the employment of the head of the country’s domestic security service and state prosecutor for alleged treason.

He said 651 treason and collaboration cases had also been opened against law enforcement officials.

Zelenskiy cited hundreds of cases of alleged treason and collaboration with Russia, with him the country is at war.

According to him, than 60 officials from the SBU security service and prosecutor’s office were working against Ukraine in Russian-occupied territories, and 651 treason and collaboration cases had been opened against law enforcement officials.


The sackings on Sunday of Ivan Bakanov, head of the security service, and Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, who led efforts to prosecute Russian war crimes, and the sheer number of treason cases, suggest the country is facing a huge challenge of Russian infiltration.

This comes as Kyiv battles Moscow in what it says is a fight for survival.

“Such an array of crimes against the foundations of the national security of the state … pose very serious questions to the relevant leaders,” Zelenskiy said. “Each of these questions will receive a proper answer.

In his nightly speech to the nation, Zelenskiy mentioned the recent arrest on suspicion of treason of the SBU’s former head overseeing the region of Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014 that Kyiv and the West still view as Ukrainian land.

He explained that he had fired the top security official at the start of the invasion, a decision he said had now been shown to be justified.

“Sufficient evidence has been collected to report this person on suspicion of treason. All his criminal activities are documented,” he said.

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