VINNYTSIA (Ukraine) — On Sunday, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zeleskyy dismissed his State Security Chief and Prosecutor General. He cited hundreds of criminal cases into treason, and cooperation by individuals within their law enforcement agencies.
” Especially, more than 60 workers of the prosecutor’s office and SBU (state security services) have remained on the occupied territory to work against our state,” Zelenskyy stated.
” Such a wide array of crimes against foundations of national security and the connections recorded between Ukrainian security force and Russian special forces raises very serious questions about their leaders,” he stated in his nightly address to the nation.
Zelenskyy fired Ivan Bakanov. He had previously appointed him to the head of the SBU as a friend from childhood and business associate. Bakanov was being criticized for security violations since war started; Politico reported last month that several Western and Ukrainian sources claimed Zelenskyy wanted to replace Bakanov.
He also fired Prosecutor General Iryna Vediktova and replaced her by Oleksiy Symonenko, her deputy. Venediktova assisted in war crime investigations.
Meanwhile, Russian missiles struck industrial facilities at Mykolaiv on Sunday, an important shipbuilding centre in the southern Ukraine. Oleksandr Senkovych, the mayor of Mykolaiv said that missiles had struck an infrastructure and industrial facility. In recent weeks, Mykolaiv was repeatedly hit by Russian missiles as Russia sought to weaken Ukrainian defenses.
The Russian military declared that it would cut Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline all the way to Romania. This would be a devastating blow to Ukraine’s economy and trade and it would allow Moscow to establish a land link to Transnistria (a Russian military base) if successful.
Ukrainian forces stopped Russian attempts at capturing Mykolaiv early in the campaign. It is located near Russia’s occupied Crimea, and Odesa, the principal port of Ukraine. Russian troops have not been able to advance into the city since then but they have kept bombarding Odesa and Mykolaiv with missile strikes.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Lt. General Igor Konashenkov claimed Sunday that Russian missiles had destroyed an anti-ship Harpoon missile depot that was being delivered to Ukraine from NATO Allies. This claim could not be independently verified.
The Russians, afraid of a counteroffensive from Ukraine, sought to strengthen their positions in Kherson, near Crimea, and in a part of northern Zaporizhzhia that they had seized during the first stage of war.
” Given the Russian pressures, reinforcement of the South while the fight for Donbass continues shows the seriousness Russian commanders regard the threat.” The British Defense Ministry stated Sunday.
For now, Russia’s military is focusing on trying to seize control of Ukraine’s eastern industrial center of Donbas. This area houses the best-equipped and most skilled Ukrainian forces.
Ukraine claims its forces are still in control of small villages within the Luhansk area, one of the two Donbas provinces, and that they resist Russian efforts to move deeper into the Donetsk Region.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Military stated Sunday that Ukrainian troops stopped Russian advances toward Sloviansk (the key Ukrainian stronghold) and other attacks in the area.
However, Russian officials urge their troops to make more territorial gains. Sergei Shoigu, Russian Defense Minister, issued a directive to “intensify actions units in all operational zones .”
” during a Saturday visit to frontlines.
The Russian military claimed that it had struck Ukrainian soldiers and artillery posts in Donbas during the most recent series of strikes. This included a U.S-supplied HIMARS multiple missile launcher. These claims could not be independently confirmed.
Dmitry Medvedev (Deputy Head of Russia’s Security Council), responded to statements by Ukrainian officials that Kyiv might strike the bridge connecting Crimea and Russia. He warned that this could have devastating consequences for Ukraine’s leadership.
“They’ll face Doomsday at the moment,” Medvedev stated Sunday. It would be difficult for them hide .”
Medvedev was once regarded by the West to be more liberal than Putin. He predicted that Russia would press its offensive in order to achieve its goal of “denazifying and demilitarizing Ukraine.” According to Medvedev, fighting in Kyiv will lead “undoubtedly” to the fall of the current regime.
Zelenskyy called Medvedev’s Doomsday comments “intimidation” and stated that Russia would face a “Day of Judgment .”
“He said it not in a literal sense but as loud talk.
While the Russians are mainly focusing their attention on the Donbass, they have also hit other areas across the country using missile strikes.
Friends and relatives attended the funeral of Liza Dmytrieva (a 4 year old girl who was killed in a Russian missile attack) Sunday. When the missiles hit Vinnytsia, the girl with Down syndrome was on her way to visit a speech therapist. At most 24 people, including Liza, and two boys aged 7 and 8, were killed. More 200 people were injured, which included Liza’s mother who is still in intensive care.
“I didn’t know Liza, but no person can go through this with calm,” priest Vitalii Holoskevych said, bursting into tears as Liza’s body lay in a coffin with flowers and teddy bears in the 18th-century Transfiguration Cathedral in Vinnytsia.
`’ We know that evil can’t win,” he said.
At least 3 civilians died and another three were hurt in the pre-dawn Russian attack on Chuhuiv. The strike was just 120 km miles from the Russian border. Police said.
One resident of the flat that was damaged said she was fortunate to be alive.
” I was about to hide and run in the bathroom. Valentina Bushuyeva said that she didn’t manage to make it, and that was what saved her. She pointed to the apartment that was destroyed and said, “There is the bathroom explosion. Half of a kitchen. It was the other half of my room.