Ukraine faces from this Sunday an administrative shock due to the decision of President Volodimir Zelensky to dismiss the attorney general and the head of the country’s security agency due to the wave of suspicions of treason cases of officials in the service of Russia.
(Also read: Russia warns of the arrival of a ‘final judgment’ if Ukraine attacks Crimea)
“Today I made the decision to relieve the prosecutor general and the head of Ukraine’s security agency” (SBU) of their duties, Zelensky said in his daily message to the nation.
They are the attorney general, Iryna Venediktova, in charge of investigations into the atrocities committed against civilians during the Russian occupation of the city of Bucha, on the outskirts of kyiv, and the head of the security service, Ivan Bakanov.
The president said that they are investigating about 650 cases susceptible to treason and aid and complicity with the enemy among Ukrainian security officials, 60 of whom remained in Russian-occupied territories.
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Zelensky further said that connections had been detected between the Ukrainian security forces and Russia’s special services, which “constituted a crime against the foundations of national security.”
“Such a number of crimes against national security bases and connections between Ukrainian officials and Russian special services raise very serious questions for those responsible,” Zelensky said.
Connections between Ukrainian officials and Russian special services raise very serious questions
“Each of those questions will be answered,” he added.
This is the biggest reorganization of his government carried out since the beginning of the Russian invasion at the end of February.
Venediktova will be replaced by Oleksiy Simonenko while Bakalov’s replacement, who until now was considered among the president’s closest circle of friends, has not been announced.
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In his evening address, Zelensky also spoke of the devastating military might that Moscow has used against Ukraine, saying that Russian forces have fired more than 3,000 cruise missiles at targets in Ukrainewith cut to Sunday.
For its part, the war would have already cost Russia the loss of 50,000 men killed and wounded, and thousands of tanks, the chief of staff of the British Armed Forces, Admiral Tony Radakin, told the BBC.
(Keep reading: Russia – Ukraine war has caused the death of 349 children)
But despite the casualties, Russian forces continue to shell towns in eastern and southern Ukraine.
Early Sunday morning, the missiles hit Kharkov, Ukraine’s second largest city, in the northeast. Several “massive bombings” were also recorded in Mikolaiv (south), near the Black Sea, regional governor Vitaliy Kim reported.
*With information from AFP and Efe
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