Angered by “treason” in the Ukrainian security apparatus, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy deposed the heads of the secret service and the general public prosecutor’s office during the war. More than 60 employees from these authorities remained in the Russian-occupied areas and collaborated with the enemy, Zelenskyj said in Kiev on Sunday evening.
The Presidential Office issued decrees dismissing the head of the SBU Ivan Bakanov and Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova from their posts.
In a phone call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Selenskyj again criticized an exception to the sanctions against Moscow: Canada is returning a turbine serviced there to Russia via Germany, which is needed for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea. The foreign ministers of the EU states will discuss the European Commission’s proposals for a new package of sanctions against Russia on Monday in Brussels. It is the 145th day of the war.
Selenskyj takes action in the security authorities. There are 651 criminal cases against employees of the public prosecutor’s office and other law enforcement agencies for high treason and collaboration with Russian services. In 198 cases, those affected were informed that they were under suspicion.
This “series of crimes against the foundations of national security” raises questions for agency leaders, the president said. He confirmed that a senior SBU man formerly in charge of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea had been arrested. He is said to have passed on information to Russia.
Bakanov has headed the SBU secret service since 2019. No successor has been named for him. The General Prosecutor’s Office is to be temporarily headed by Oleksiy Simonenko.
According to its general staff on Sunday evening, the Ukrainian army repulsed Russian attacks in the Donbass near the cities of Sloviansk and Bakhmut. From the Sumy region in northern Ukraine, the administration reported more than 50 artillery fires on Sunday. At night, the city of Nikopol in the Dnipropetrovsk region was shelled.
The turbine dispute is driving a wedge between Ukraine and one of its key military backers. Zelenskyy said Kyiv will not accept Canada’s decision to return the turbine to Russia via Germany.
After the conversation with Trudeau, he wrote on Twitter that the position on sanctions must be principled. “After the terrorist attacks on Vinnytsia, Mykolayiv, Chasiv Yar and others, the pressure must be increased, not decreased.” He was referring to Russian rocket attacks in Ukrainian cities far from the front that have killed dozens.
The Russian energy company Gazprom has significantly reduced gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany since June, citing the lack of a turbine as the reason for this. With the return, Canada wants to help Germany and other European countries against impending energy shortages.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz advocates a stronger and “geopolitical European Union” as a consequence of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. In a guest article for the “FAZ”, the SPD politician writes that the EU must close its ranks: “In migration policy, for example, in building a European defense, in technological sovereignty and democratic resilience”.
Scholz described the EU as the “lived antithesis of imperialism and autocracy”, which is why it is a thorn in the side of those in power like Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. The Russian missiles on Ukraine not only caused massive destruction, “but also reduced the European and international peace order of the past decades to rubble and ashes”. Scholz assured that Ukraine would be supported as long as it needed it.
From the CSU’s point of view, the Bundeswehr should be upgraded in such a way that it can contribute to a “policy of deterrence” in NATO. This emerges from the draft resolution of the CSU state group for their summer retreat beginning on Wednesday, which is available to the “Münchner Merkur” (Monday). “Putin’s brutal war of aggression shows that effective foreign policy needs deterrence – and that also includes a clear commitment to nuclear sharing,” said Alexander Dobrindt, head of the regional group.
According to Deputy Head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, NATO and Ukraine remain a threat to Russia. As long as NATO and Ukraine do not recognize the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which was annexed in 2014, as part of Russia, there is a danger. That’s what the former president said to veterans in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad).
If Ukraine tries to reconquer the peninsula, the “Last Judgment” will befall all Ukrainians, “very quickly and severely,” Medvedev threatened.
TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova was temporarily arrested near Moscow on Sunday. Photos were posted on her Telegram channel that allegedly show her being taken into a minibus by police officers. On the night of Monday, the civil rights portal “OVD-Info” reported, citing the lawyer Dmitri Sachwatov, that she was free again.
Ovzyannikova posted photos on Friday of her standing with a protest poster within sight of the Kremlin. “Putin is a murderer,” read the poster. The Russian state television employee, who had previously been loyal to the line, showed a protest poster against the war in a live broadcast in March.
In the Polish capital of Warsaw, Ukrainians and Poles protested against the war in front of the Russian embassy on Sunday.