Zelensky dismisses the head of the SBU, announces hundreds of criminal cases of high treason

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has fired two senior members of his administration, including Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, he said during the night performance.

Zelensky said on Sunday that corruption broke through ranks of his government and that the State Bureau of Investigation is conducting a “full-scale investigation” against officials and law enforcement officials suspected of treason or other heinous acts.

“To date, 651 criminal cases of high treason and collaboration among employees of the prosecutor’s office, pre-trial investigation bodies and other law enforcement agencies have been registered,” the President of Ukraine said. “Relevant persons have been notified of suspicion in 198 criminal proceedings. In particular, more than 60 employees of the prosecutor’s office and the SBU remained in the occupied territory and are working against our state.”

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stands in the city of Bucha, northwest of Ukraine's capital Kyiv, on April 4, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stands in the city of Bucha, northwest of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, on April 4, 2022.
(Photo by Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty Images)

“Such an array of crimes against the foundations of the national security of the state and the revealed connections between the employees of the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine and the special services of Russia raise very serious questions from the relevant leadership,” he added. “Each of these questions will be answered accordingly. Today I decided to remove the Prosecutor General from office and dismiss the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine.”

Zelensky also announced that he would appoint a new head Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.

Smoke rises from a Russian tank knocked out by Ukrainian troops on the side of a road in the Luhansk region on February 26, 2022.

Smoke rises from a Russian tank knocked out by Ukrainian troops on the side of a road in the Luhansk region on February 26, 2022.
(Photo by Anatoly Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images)

The President of Ukraine also acknowledged the investigation into the case of the former head of the security service of the Crimean peninsula, whom he fired a few months ago.

“Employees of the State Bureau of Investigation, together with Security Service of Ukraine the former head of the Main Directorate of the SBU in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was detained. This man was fired by me at the beginning of a full-scale invasion, and, as we see, this decision was fully justified. Sufficient evidence has been collected to notify this person of suspicion of treason,” he said. All his criminal activities are documented. Everything he did in these months, as well as earlier, will receive a proper legal assessment.”

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Zelensky added: “Everyone who, along with him, was part of a criminal group that worked in the interests of Russia Federation will also be held accountable. We are talking about the transfer of secret information to the enemy and other facts of cooperation with Russian special services.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky visits the forward positions of the Ukrainian military in Donbass, Ukraine, December 06, 2021.  (Photo by Presidency of Ukraine/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky visits the forward positions of the Ukrainian military in Donbass, Ukraine, December 06, 2021. (Photo by Presidency of Ukraine/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
(Photo by President of Ukraine / Handout / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

As long as the Ukrainian government continues its “self-cleansing” operation, it continues to tolerate physical war with Russia, the president said.

“It is definitely possible to bring to justice all Russian war criminals. Each of the collaborators. All those guilty of terror. For everything that has been happening for 144 days and more than eight years,” he concluded. “It will be done.”

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Russia first invaded Ukraine in February. 24, which many experts predict will be a quick win.