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Zelensky fires foreign intelligence service official

by The Kyiv Independent news desk November 17, 2023 11:27 PM 1 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky signs a document in his office in Kyiv. (Volodymyr Zelensky / Telegram)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed Oleksandr Tarasovsky from his post as deputy head of Ukraine's Foreign Intelligence Service on Nov. 17, according to a presidential decree.

The reason for the dismissal wasn't specified. Tarasovsky had served in this position since January 2022.

Media reports emerged earlier that the Defense Ministry was considering the potential dismissal of three commanders within Ukraine’s Armed Forces, Ukrainian media outlet Ukrainska Pravda reported on Nov. 13, citing unnamed sources in the country’s military and political leadership.

According to Ukrainska Pravda, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov is preparing requests to dismiss Medical Forces Commander Tetiana Ostashchenko, Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, the commander of the southern Tavria Group, and Joint Forces Commander Serhii Naiev.

Hours after Ukrainska Pravda published the report, the Defense Ministry issued a “response to all media inquiries” saying that “information published by a number of media outlets is not true.”

The ministry didn’t specify to which reports it was reacting to.

Serhii Nikiforov, a spokesperson for the Presidential Office, told Ukrainska Pravda that the office would announce the dismissals on its website if such decisions are approved.

Meanwhile, one of the media outlet’s sources said the discussions on firing the three commanders have been ongoing for months.

Zelensky replaces top commander at defense minister’s request
Defense Minister Rustem Umerov confirmed on Nov. 4 that he had requested the replacement of Special Operations Forces commander Viktor Khorenko, which caused some confusion between the Defense Ministry and the Armed Forces.
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