Volodymyr Zelenskyy sacks two high-ranking officials amidst treason accusations

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired two high-ranking executives as they were accused of treason and other criminal charges.

Late on Sunday evening, this breaking news surprised the world. Volodymyr Zelenskyyrelieved two high-ranking officials of their posts at the same time. Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova and the head of the domestic intelligence service Ivan Bakanov were dismissed from their positions. Here’s what happened.

Zelenskyy confirms impeachment

Ukraine has already been having a hard time surviving the constant attacks by the Russian army. So it was a complete shock when it came out that two high-ranking officials in the Ukrainian government have been accused of aiding and abetting Russia.

As reported by BBC, the security and the prosecutor have a total of 651 treason and collaboration cases against them. Zelenskyy said in a video statement:

Such an array of crimes against the foundations of the national security of the state... pose very serious questions to the relevant heads [of the two organisations]... Each of these questions will receive a proper answer

‘Self-cleansing of the authorities’

In addition, a total of 60 government employees have been working against Ukraine from the state-occupied territory, as per The New York Post. Zelenskyy said:

In particular, more than 60 employees of the prosecutor’s office and the [state security service] have remained in the occupied territory and work against our state

Zelenskyy also promises to continue investigating Ukraine's security apparatus and speaks of the authorities' ‘self-cleansing’ in this context. According to Tagesschau, criminal prosecution cannot be ruled out, especially in the case of Bakanov:

Now the president is firing him - and even includes the corresponding paragraph in the decree: 47 - Failure to perform official duties, which led to victims or other serious consequences. According to preliminary estimates, even criminal prosecution may not be ruled out after release.

The quarrel between Zelenskyy and Bakanov is particularly tragic because the two have been friends since childhood. Bakanov also headed Zelenskyy's campaign team.

This article is translated from Gentside DE.

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