Volodymyr Zelensky fires top Ukrainian officials over ‘collaboration’ with Russia

Volodymyr Zelensky has sacked his chief prosecutor and the head of his security agency in the largest government shakeup since the Russian invasion.

The Ukrainian president said he was firing the pair amid 650 cases of suspected treason by law enforcement officials.

In a Telegram post, he said he had sacked Ivan Bakanov, the head of Ukraine’s security services, the SBU, and Iryna Venediktova, the country’s prosecutor general, because it had come to light that many members of their agencies had collaborated with Russia.

Ms Venediktova was in charge of investigating war crimes in Bucha.

More than 60 officials in their agencies are believed to be working against Ukraine in Russian-occupied territories, he added.

“Such an array of crimes against the foundations of the national security of the state … pose very serious questions to the relevant leaders,” Mr Zelensky said.

“Each of these questions will receive a proper answer,” he said.

Mr Zelensky said he sacked Mr Bakanov at the start of the invasion – a decision he said had now shown to be justified.

“Sufficient evidence has been collected to report this person on suspicion of treason. All his criminal activities are documented,” he said.

Mr Bakanov was appointed to head the SBU in 2019, one of an array of new faces who rose to prominence after Mr Zelensky became president.

Meanwhile, fresh Russian bombardments rained down on targets across the country as Ukraine accused the enemy of setting up its artillery at a nuclear power station.

Ukrainian officials said that the situation around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station was “extremely tense” after accusing Russian forces of using it as a firing position.

Missile attacks were also reported against Kharkiv in the north of Ukraine, Mykolaiv, in the south, Snake Island in the Black Sea and Odesa. Officials said that at least three people were killed in Mykolaiv and one person was injured in Odesa.

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