Friday, October 7

Zelenski tries to undertake a cleanup of alleged traitors in the secret services and the Prosecutor’s Office

Funeral in a kyiv monastery for the death of a soldier on the Eastern Front / ef

651 criminal proceedings related to treason and collaborationism have also been opened, according to the Ukrainian president himself

The Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelensky, has appointed this Monday “temporarily” or “acting” as director of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Vasili Maliuk to replace Iván Bakánov, removed from his duties on Sunday by the president, who in turn also suspended the position of the attorney general, Irina Venedíktova.

Both are suspected of “high treason”, but, according to the Ukrainian Presidency, they are not dismissed, but “removed from their positions” while the degree of involvement in the crime of collaboration with the enemy that they allegedly committed is investigated and clarified. Venedíktova was already replaced on Sunday at the head of the Attorney General’s Office by Oleksiy Simonenko.

Zelensky suspended Bakanov’s post “in accordance with Article 47 of the Disciplinary Charter of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” which refers to “failure to perform service duties that caused human casualties, other serious consequences, or created the threat of such consequences. As for Venedíktova, she was removed on the basis of a rule included in the Martial Law declared in May, which gives the head of state a free hand to suspend an official whose appointment or dismissal is within his authority. The president appoints the attorney general by decree with the consent of Parliament.

However, the Legal Department of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian unicameral parliament) maintains in a report that the Constitution does not empower Zelensky to decide on the dismissal of officials in his charge. According to Oleksandr Marusyak, an expert in Constitutional Law quoted by the Ukrainian website, “neither the Constitution nor the relevant law on the Prosecutor’s Office provides for the possibility of the president dismissing the prosecutor general.” However, added the jurist, “the president, without the consent of the Verkhovna Rada, replaced the attorney general, assigning his functions to another without specifying any specific period of time.”

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For his part, the member of the National Security Committee of the Rada, Fyodor Venislavsky, considers that Zelensky’s decrees are legally correct. In his opinion, “under Martial Law, decisions must be made promptly, sometimes there is no time to agree on each of the procedural steps.”

Zelenski argued on Sunday after signing the decrees that the “rotations” undertaken in the SBU and the Attorney General’s Office are motivated by the presence of “a large number of traitors.” It so happens that the current dismissals were preceded by the arrest of Oleg Kulínich, who had been occupying the department of the SBU dedicated to Crimea until March, an office that had to be transferred to Kherson after the annexation of the peninsula by Russia. To illustrate his fears, the Ukrainian president referred precisely to Kulínich, whom investigators accuse of passing information to Russia classified as a “state secret.”

Zelensky also recalled his decisions regarding various regional secret service officials and cited the dismissal, on March 31, of the head of the SBU in Kherson, Serhiy Krivoruchko. Now I don’t have time to spend with traitors. But little by little they will all be punished, “Zelensky said then.

According to, on March 25, the mayor of Kherson, Igor Kolyjáev, acknowledged that some of the city councilors fled the city before it was occupied by Russian forces. And on February 24, when Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine, the local employees of the Prosecutor’s Office, the Police and the SBU had already left Kherson.

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death of a negotiator

On June 24, the US media website Politico announced that Zelensky wanted to remove Bakanov, a friend of his since childhood, because he was the one who appointed Kulínich and did not act properly against the “traitors” who allowed Russian troops to advance rapidly from Crimea. and occupy the entire region of Kherson in the first days of the war. It turns out that, as they suspect in the Ukrainian President, Kulínich ordered the dismantling of the minefields along the border with Crimea, thus facilitating the movements of Russian forces. According to Zelensky, “this individual was removed by me at the beginning of the invasion and, as we can see, that decision was absolutely justified. We have gathered enough evidence to be able to notify him that he is suspected of treason against the Fatherland ».

At the end of May, the head of the Kharkov SBU department, Roman Dudin, was also dismissed. “He did not work to protect the city from the first days of a large-scale war, but he only thought of himself. Law enforcement officers will reveal his motives,” Zelensky said. In his words, “651 criminal proceedings have also been opened related to treason and collaboration of employees of the prosecutor’s office, pre-trial investigation bodies and other bodies required to apply the law.”

The top Ukrainian leader also warned that “more than 60 officials from the prosecutor’s office and the SBU remained in the occupied territory and have been working against our state.” “Such a set of crimes against the foundations of national security and the detected links between the employees of the Ukrainian security forces and the special services of Russia raise very serious questions for the relevant leaders. Each of these questions will receive an adequate answer,” Zelensky warned on Sunday.

Another strange case, apparently related to a matter of collaborationism, was that of the Ukrainian banker, Denis Kireev, shot dead in early March while in custody. He was a member of the Ukrainian delegation in the failed talks with Russia to stop the war and was accused of being a “double agent”. At the official level, it was assured that Kireev tried to flee, ignored the calls to give up his attitude and was shot down.

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