Volodymyr Zelensky Fires Security Chief and Attorney General | War in Ukraine

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Volodymyr Zelensky dismisses his security chief and his attorney general | War in Ukraine

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has just dismissed from their posts two senior Ukrainian officers, one of whom is a childhood friend of his.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has sacked the country's chief prosecutor and the head of the security services on Sunday evening on suspicion of treason by some of their subordinates for the benefit of the Russians, on the eve of an EU meeting intended to strengthen sanctions against Moscow.

I have taken the decision to relieve Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova and Chief of Security Services (SBU) Ivan Bakanov from their posts, Zelensky said as Russia continues its bombardment of several Ukrainian cities. /p>

Ukrainian authorities are investigating more than 650 cases of suspected treason by local officials, including 60 in areas occupied by Russian and pro-Russian forces, he added in his remarks evening.

“Such a high number of crimes against national security foundations as well as links established between Ukrainian law enforcement officials Russian laws and special services are very serious issues for the leaders concerned. Each of these questions will be answered.

—Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine

General Prosecutor Iryna Venediktova and Head of Security Service (SBU) Ivan Bakanov at a press conference in May 2021.

Ms. Venediktova notably led the investigation into alleged atrocities committed at the start of the invasion by Russian forces in the town of Boutcha, a suburb northwest of kyiv, which in the eyes of the Russian authorities West a symbol of Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

On Monday, European Union foreign ministers will debate tougher sanctions against Moscow, the successive salvos adopted so far have isolated and hit Russia hard economically without making it back down or abandoning its invasion launched on February 24.

They must consider two European Commission proposals to ban gold purchases from Russia to bring EU sanctions in line with those of its G7 partners and to list new new Russian personalities on the EU blacklist.

Moscow must continue to pay a high price for its aggression, European Commission President Ursula von said on Friday. der Leyen, after transmitting the new measures to the Twenty-Seven.

The Russian army has already lost 50,000 men dead or wounded and thousands of armored personnel, according to the British Chief of Defense Staff, Admiral Tony Radakin , or more than 30% of its effectiveness in ground combat.

However, the challenge posed by Russia will last, he warned, stressing that betting on a health problem of Vladimir Putin or on the possibility that he ends up being assassinated is wishful thinking.

The master of the Kremlin claimed earlier this month that the Russian military had yet to get down to business. His defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, ordered last week to increase military pressure further.

Just three days after cruise missile strikes devastated the center of Vinnytsia, hundreds of kilometers from the front, killing at least 24, including children, and sparking European Union the denunciation of barbaric behavior, the bombardments continue.

Russian strikes on Vinnytsia on Thursday qualified of “openly terrorist act” by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Russia announced on Saturday that it had officially ended the operational pause of its army, decreed eight days ago, and the bombardments resumed with more intensity in the Donbass, whose total control is the main objective in the short term. term of Moscow.

Donetsk, one of the two Donbass provinces, has been targeted by the Russians, [who] continue to bombard civilian infrastructure, especially settlements. education, said the governor of the region, Pavlo Kyrylenko.

Pro-Russian separatists who have held part of the same region since 2014 meanwhile accused Ukrainian forces of firing 60 rockets from Grad multiple rocket launchers at a neighborhood in Donetsk.

Apartment buildings were hit, they claimed, posting images of buildings reduced to rubble, with no reports of casualties.

In the northeast, during the night from Saturday to Sunday, missiles hit Kharkiv, the country's second city, close to the Russian border.

Raisa Kuval, 82, sees the devastation after shelling in Kharkiv on July 16, 2022.

Other strikes targeted Mykolaiv, a southern city near the Black Sea, and villages in the region, according to Vitaliy Kim, the local governor.

In addition, the President Zelensky again criticized on Sunday the Canadian decision, taken last week, to allow the return to Europe of turbines repaired in Canada and intended for the Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream.

He said he told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whom he spoke to on the phone earlier in the day, that Ukrainians will never accept this decision, which he says violates the sanctions regime against Russia.

It'sa matter of compliance with sanctions. If there is a breach now, it won't be long before there are more, the president added, accusing Russia of gas blackmail and pointing out that there were other ways to get Russian gas to Europe.

In Russia, Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who became famous after appearing live on television with a sign criticizing Moscow's offensive in Ukraine, was arrested on Sunday, her entourage and her lawyer said.

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Having chosen prime time, Marina Ovsyannikova launched her message in front of millions of Russians in March 2022 .

No official statement has been made about the reasons for her arrest, but it comes days after Ms Ovsyannikova demonstrated alone near the Kremlin brandishing a sign that criticized the military intervention in Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin.

The war in Ukraine will enter its sixth 24 July and there is no overall civilian death toll from the conflict so far.

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