Zelensky shakes up State Security Service leadership

27 July 2021

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky removed several high-ranking officials in the State Security Service (SBU) on July 26, his website president.gov.ua reported. Zelensky removed first deputy heads in the SBU’s anti-terrorism and anti-smuggling arms. In addition, the head of the information security counterintelligence department and the head of the SBU in Chernivtsi Oblast were relieved of their positions.

 

In the announcement, Zelensky noted the importance of both reforming the SBU and fighting smuggling. He stated that these changes are part of the preparations for the upcoming reform, which will be launched immediately after the Verkhovna Rada passes the relevant bill.

 

James Hydzik: One area where Ukraine’s partners and the Ukrainian government’s interests dovetail is in regard to smuggling, so these changes should be welcomed without damaging Zelensky’s overall political rating. SBU reform in general is welcome, but the risk of the president further consolidating his power base is also real.

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