Ukrainian President Zelenskyy fires PG Venediktova and SBU chief Bakanov, appoints acting PG

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The website of the President of Ukraine has published three presidential decrees. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has dismissed Ivan Bakanov from the post of the head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Iryna Venediktova from the post of the Prosecutor General, and appointed Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksii Symonenko the acting Prosecutor General.

The decree on SBU chief Bakanov’s dismissal says he’s removed from office under Article 47 of the Disciplinary Statute of Ukraine’s Armed Forces (“Non-performance (improper performance) of official duties, which resulted in human casualties or other serious consequences or created a threat of such consequences”).

Earlier today the security service’s Crimea Department ex-chief Oleh Kulinich was detained under high treason charges:

Meanwhile, the decree on the dismissal of Iryna Venediktova as the Prosecutor General doesn’t give any hints on the reason for her removal from office.

Update:

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has given his explanation in a video address:

“651 criminal proceedings registered re: high treason & collaborationist activities of workers of prosecutor’s offices, pretrial investigation bodies, other law enforcement agencies. In 198 cases, relevant persons were notified of suspicion.”

“In particular, more than 60 employees of the prosecutor’s office and the SBU remained in the occupied territory and are working against our state.”

“Such an array of crimes against the foundations of the state national security and the connections recorded between the employees of Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies & Russia’s special services raise very serious questions to the relevant chiefs.”

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