Ukraine’s President Zelensky Puts Loyalties in Charge of Military and Intelligence Services
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has surprisingly pushed aside a number of military officers and top intelligence officials. In their place come the confidants of the president.
The commander of military operations in eastern Ukraine was fired, as were the chief of service and the air force commander. Earlier in the day, Ruslan Khomchak, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, was also transferred to a post at the National Security Council.
This week, Zelensky also nominated several stalwarts for senior positions in the intelligence services, such as the head of the foreign intelligence services.
The change was stated that the intention is for the various services to work better together.
In mid-July, Arsen Avakov, the interior minister, also resigned. Followers observers did this under duress. Avakov was replaced by Denis Monastyrsky, a member of Zelensky’s party.
Ukrainian media are talking about Zelensky’s authoritarian tendencies. Many feel he wants to occupy key security posts with loyalists.
Since October 2014, Ukrainian troops have been fighting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. More than 13,000 people have been killed, according to the United Nations.