By HANNA ARHIROVA and CARA ANNA
VINNYTSIA, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired the head of the country’s security service and its prosecutor general on Sunday, citing hundreds of criminal proceedings into treason and collaboration by people within their departments.
“In particular, more than 60 employees of the prosecutor’s office and the SBU have remained in the occupied territory and work against our state,” Zelenskyy said.
“Such an array of crimes against the foundations of the state’s national security, and the links recorded between Ukrainian security forces and Russian special services raise very serious questions about their respective leaders,’ he said.
He dismissed Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, and replaced her with her deputy Oleksiy Symonenko. He also dismissed Ivan Bakanov, the head of Ukraine’s security service, the SBU. Bakanov was a long-time friend of Zelenskyy’s, according to Ukrainian news agencies.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
VINNYTSIA, Ukraine (AP) — Russian missiles hit industrial facilities at a strategic city in southern Ukraine on Sunday as Moscow also pressed efforts to expand its gains in the country’s east.
Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said the missiles struck an industrial and infrastructure facility in the city, a key shipbuilding center in the estuary of the Southern Bug river. There was no immediate information about casualties.
Mykolaiv has faced regular Russian missile strikes in recent weeks as the Russians have sought to soften Ukrainian defenses.
The Russian military has declared a goal to cut off Ukraine’s entire Black Sea coast all the way to the Romanian border. If successful, such an effort would deal a crushing blow to the Ukrainian economy and trade, and allow Moscow to secure a land bridge to Moldova’s separatist region of Transnistria, which hosts a Russian military base.
Early in the campaign, Ukrainian forces fended off Russian attempts to capture Mykolaiv, which sits near the Black Sea coast between Russia-occupied Crimea and the main Ukrainian port of Odesa. Since then, Russian troops have halted their attempts to advance in the city but have continued to pummel both Mykolaiv and Odesa with regular missile strikes.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Sunday that Russian missiles destroyed a depot for anti-ship Harpoon missiles delivered to Ukraine by NATO allies, a claim that couldn’t be independently confirmed.
The Russians, fearing a Ukrainian counteroffensive, also sought to reinforce their positions in the Kherson region near Crimea and in part of the northern Zaporizhzhia region that …read more
Source:: The Mercury News