Ukraine parliament removes security chief, Zelenskiy fires another top official

Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Ivan Bakanov attends a news briefing in Kyiv, Ukraine May 11, 2021. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

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KYIV, July 19 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s parliament dismissed the domestic security chief and prosecutor general on Tuesday, two days after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy suspended them for failing to root out Russian spies.

Ivan Bakanov was fired from his position at the helm of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) by a comfortable majority, several lawmakers said on the Telegram messaging app. read more

The head of Zelenskiy’s political faction said Iryna Venediktova had also been voted out as prosecutor general.

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Zelenskiy later announced he had fired one of the SBU’s deputy heads but gave no details. In a late night video address, he also said he had appointed five new regional SBU directors.

In a statement published on Telegram minutes before his dismissal was confirmed, Bakanov said “miscalculations” had been made during his tenure, but that he was proud of his record. read more

After the vote, ruling parliamentary party leader and close Zelenskiy ally David Arakhamia wrote on Telegram that Venediktova “remains in the team,” and implied that she was due for a diplomatic posting.

“Her experience will serve the state in a new place, which needs to be strengthened by professional managers and lawyers,” he wrote.

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Reporting by Max Hunder and David Ljunggren; Editing by William Maclean and Alistair Bell

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.