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President's Office: Prosecutor general, security service chief not fired yet

July 18, 2022 1:04 pmby Thaisa Semenova
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President's Office: Prosecutor general, security service chief not fired yetProsecutor General Iryna Venediktova, who was suspended on July 17. (Wikipedia)

Andriy Smyrnov, a deputy chief of staff for President Volodymyr Zelensky, clarified on July 18 that Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova and Ivan Bakanov, head of the Security Service of Ukraine, had been suspended but not fired yet.

According to Smyrnov, the top officials' suspension was needed to prevent their potential influence on investigations against law enforcement officials suspected of collaboration with Russia. 

"Everyone has been waiting long enough for more concrete and, perhaps, radical results from the heads of these two bodies to cleanse them of collaborators and traitors," he said. "However, in the sixth month of the war, we continue to find dozens of such people at each of these institutions."

Depending on the results of inspections into suspected collaborators, Zelensky will decide whether to file motions with the Verkhovna Rada to dismiss Venediktova and Bakanov, Smyrnov added. 

Zelensky said on July 17 that "the specific actions and any inaction of each official in the security sector and at law-enforcement agencies will be evaluated." He added that 651 treason cases had been opened against prosecutors, investigators, and other law enforcement officials. 

"Such an array of crimes against the foundations of national security and the connections detected between the employees of Ukrainian security forces and the special services of Russia pose very serious questions to the relevant leadership," he said. 

Oleksiy Symonenko, a deputy of Venediktova, was appointed acting prosecutor general, while Vasyl Maliuk, a deputy head of the SBU, became the acting head of the security service. 

Thaisa Semenova
Author: Thaisa Semenova

Thaisa Semenova is a national reporter at the Kyiv Independent. She worked as a staff writer for the Kyiv Post until November 2021.

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