Ukraine’s president dismisses security chief and prosecutor

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a joint briefing with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (not shown), as Russia’s offensive on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine on July 11, 2022. REUTERS/Valentin Ogirenko

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Kyiv (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued executive orders late on Sunday to dismiss the head of Ukraine’s powerful internal security service, the Internal Security Service, and the prosecutor.

The orders to dismiss the head of the State Security Administration, Ivan Bakanov, a childhood friend of Zelensky, and Prosecutor Irina Venediktova, who led efforts to prosecute Russian war crimes in Ukraine, were posted on the president’s official website.

In a separate post on Telegram, Zelensky said he has fired senior officials because several issues have arisen in light of members of their agencies’ cooperation with Russia.

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He said that 651 cases of treason and cooperation have been opened against prosecutors and law enforcement officials, and that more than 60 officials from the Bakanov and Venediktova agencies are now working against Ukraine in the territories occupied by Russia.

“Such a set of crimes against the foundations of the state’s national security … raise very serious questions for the leaders involved,” Zelensky said.

“Each of these questions will get an appropriate answer,” he said.

Zelensky appointed Oleksiy Simonenko as the new prosecutor in a separate executive order also posted on the president’s website.

Reporting by Max Hander Editing by Gareth Jones and Tom Palmforth

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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