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Zelensky conducts personnel changes in Security Service

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 6, 2023 8:46 PM 1 min read
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to the media during a press conference on Feb. 24, 2023, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Valentyna Polishchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky fired deputy head of Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) Oleksandr Yakushev, managers of two departments, and SBU heads in two Ukrainian regions, according to presidential decrees published on March 6.

The dismissed officials are Oleksandr Provotorov, the head of the Economic Support Department, Ihor Nosko, the head of the Department of Protection of State Secrets and Licensing, Borys Bezrukyi, SBU head in Zaporizhzhia Oblast and Eduard Fedorov, SBU head in Sumy Oblast.

Zelensky has already appointed new people for two of these positions.

On Feb. 8, an online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda reported that SBU had classified the results of an inspection into its former chief Ivan Bakanov.

Bakanov was fired in July 2022 over endemic treason at the security service. After Bakanov's dismissal, the Ukrainian parliament appointed Vasyl Maliuk as the new SBU head.

Maliuk is close to Zelensky's notorious deputy chief of staff Oleh Tatarov, anti-corruption activists say. Tatarov was charged with bribery in 2020. Since then, his case has been destroyed by law enforcers, while Tatarov is believed to wield significant influence over most law enforcement bodies.

Maliuk's appointment came after an anti-corruption crackdown on Feb. 1, when law enforcers raided powerful oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, scandalous former Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, and top tax and customs officials.

The large-scale operation came as the Ukrainian government sought to show that it is tackling corruption as the West provides unprecedented amounts of aid to Kyiv.

Explainer: What’s behind Zelensky’s public ousting of top officials
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