Zelensky fires two top security officials, calls them 'traitors'

Zelensky fires two top Ukrainian security officials and brands them TRAITORS who failed to defend the country in rare example of dissent among ranks in Kyiv

  • Volodymyr Zelensky fired two senior officials, accusing them of being ‘traitors’ 
  • President Zelensky said the two men had betrayed their oath to defend Ukraine 
  • Sacked pair were both senior members of Ukraine’s national security service

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last night fired two senior officials, accusing them of being ‘traitors’ and warning others they would be punished.

In a rare example of dissent among Ukrainian officials since the Russian invasion in February, Zelensky accused the two men, who worked for the national security service, of failing in their duty to protect the country.

He also said the situation in the south and the Donbas region remained extremely difficult and reiterated that Russia was building up forces near the besieged city of Mariupol.

Zelensky made the comments in a televised address last night

Zelensky said he had fired the two top officials at the national security service – the overall head of internal security as well as the head of the agency’s branch in the Kherson region.

‘I do not have time to deal with all the traitors, but they will gradually all be punished,’ he said, adding that the two men had betrayed their oath to defend Ukraine. He did not give specific details.

The occasion marked the first time Zelensky has announced high-profile sackings of those involved in Ukraine’s defence.

Zelensky, who often uses colourful imagery, said the Russians were so evil and so keen on destruction that they seemed to be from another world, ‘monsters who burn and plunder, who attack and are bent on murder’.

Russia says it is carrying out a ‘special operation’ to disarm and ‘denazify’ its neighbour. Moscow also denies Kyiv’s accusations that Russian forces are targeting civilians.

Zelensky said Ukrainian forces had pushed back the Russians from Kyiv and Chernihiv – two cities Moscow had announced would no longer be the focus of attacks as they seek to secure the separatist Donbas and Luhansk regions in the south-east.

‘There will be battles ahead. We still need to go down a very difficult path to get everything we want,’ he said.

‘The situation in the south and in the Donbas remains extremely difficult.’

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