Zelensky Takes Aim at Hidden Enemy: Ukrainians Aiding Russia

The decree did not specify casualties or consequences, but speculation swirled around Kyiv on Monday that Mr Bakanov was ousted because of intelligence failures in the first days of the war in the southern Russian city of Kherson. , which the Russians captured almost without combat. . Ariev, an opposition member of parliament, said local officials in Kherson had switched sides, and explosives had been removed from bridges around the city.

At the end of March, Mr. Zelensky stripped of the military service of two generals in their ranks, calling them traitors; one was in charge of the Kherson area and the other had fled Ukraine before the invasion, only to be arrested a few months later in Serbia, accused of attempting to smuggle cash and emeralds into the country.

A member of Parliament, Oleksiy Honcharenko, who is not affiliated with a party, said of Mr. Zelensky’s mention of “serious consequences”, “Translation: for Kherson’s surrender.”

Security Service, known by its Ukrainian abbreviation SBUas the country’s main domestic intelligence and security agency, Ukraine’s successor to the Soviet-era KGB Its enormous size has attracted much criticism – in comparison, of the UK MI5 only 4,400 employees, according to Atlantic Council — and it has long faced calls for reform.

Business groups say the service has shaken companies up as bribes and corrupt spies are compromised and can be prosecuted, becoming an easy sign of Russian recruitment.

“Surprise, surprise,” Serhiy Fursa, an analyst at Dragon Capital, a leading Ukrainian investment bank, wrote on Facebook about Zelensky’s alleged betrayal in the service. “What lesson has this war taught us? A corrupt person is Putin’s best friend.”

Report contributed by Carlotta Gall from Druzhkivka, Ukraine; Thomas Gibbons-Neff from Dubai; Natalia Yermak from Lviv, Ukraine; Maria Varennikova from Kyiv; and Marc Santora from London.

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