In the greatest overhaul since the Russian invasion began, Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed the head of the nation’s security agency and state prosecutor, citing hundreds of cases of alleged treason and collaboration with Russia.
Iryna Venediktova, the country’s top prosecutor, and Ivan Bakanov, the head of the domestic security service, were both fired, according to the Ukrainian president.
Both high-ranking officials played critical roles in Ukraine’s reaction to Russia’s attack. While Mr. Bakanov, who was chosen by Zelenskyy, was in charge of the nation’s secret services, Ms. Venediktova was spearheading the push to prosecute Russian war crimes.
According to him, 651 treason and collaboration cases against law enforcement officers have been started, and more than 60 members of the Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU, and the prosecutor’s office are allegedly working against Ukraine in Russian-occupied territory.
According to Zelenskyy, “Such an array of crimes against the foundations of the national security of the state… pose very serious questions to the relevant leaders.” “Each of these questions will receive a proper answer.”
In his evening presentation, Zelenskyy also stated that the fresh results support his decision to fire the top security officer who was previously overseeing SBU operations in Crimea at the outset of the incursion.
“Sufficient evidence has been collected to report this person on suspicion of treason. All his criminal activities are documented,” he said.
The dismissals came as Russia appears to be ramping up its military activities as the European Union prepares to consider toughening sanctions against Moscow on Monday.
According to a statement from the ministry, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu gave military units on Saturday orders to step up efforts to thwart Ukrainian attacks on Russian-held territory.
Later, military intelligence from Ukraine said that shelling had been occurring throughout the whole lines in anticipation of the Russian offensive’s next phase.
Sloviansk, a symbolically significant city controlled by Ukraine in the eastern region of Donetsk, is a city that Russia appears to be advancing on with reorganized forces.
In its most recent report on Monday, the British Ministry of Defence stated that Russia has employed the private military company Wagner, which recruits ex-cons and people on the blacklist, to bolster front-line personnel and reduce losses and staffing gaps.
Prior to the EU negotiations, Zelenskyy said that Russia had already launched more than 3,000 cruise missiles and that it was “impossible to count” the amount of artillery and other strikes.
Thousands of civilians have been killed in attacks on residential structures, which have been routinely documented.
According to the United Nations, eight million people have been internally displaced as well as compelled to leave Ukraine since the invasion began.