Jul 17, 2022 - World

Zelensky fires two officials after dozens of staffers' "collaboration" with Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at a press conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on July 11 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo: Alexey Furman/Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Sunday that he fired the head of Ukraine's domestic security agency and its prosecutor general amid the continued Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Driving the news: Zelensky fired Ivan Bakanov, chief of the Security Service of Ukraine, and Iryna Venediktova, the country's prosecutor general, after it was revealed that many in their departments were collaborating with Russia.

  • More than 60 employees in both offices "remained in the occupied territory and are working against our state," Zelensky said in a press release.
  • "Such an array of crimes against the foundations of the national security of the state and the connections detected between the employees of the security forces of Ukraine and the special services of Russia pose very serious questions to the relevant leadership," Zelensky said. "Each of these questions will receive a proper answer."
  • “As of today, 651 criminal proceedings have been registered regarding treason and collaboration activities of employees of prosecutor’s offices, pretrial investigation bodies, and other law enforcement agencies,” Zelensky added.

Background: Zelensky and Bakanov go way back.

  • Bakanov is a childhood friend of Zelensky, according to Politico. He also ran Zelensky's entertainment company and headed up his presidential campaign.
  • However, Politico reported in June that the Ukrainian president was hoping to remove his friend from his position leading the security service.
Go deeper