Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky intends to fire Ivan Bakanov, the head of Ukraine’s security service, for unprofessionalism and also for the fact that some high-ranking officials in his department resigned after the start of Russia. Military special operation. This was reported by the publication Politico on Thursday, citing its sources.
They say the head of state intends to replace his childhood friend and former head of Bakanov’s election headquarters with a person more knowledgeable in the work of the service. The issue is also being addressed by a diplomat from one of the Western countries who advised Kiev on the reforms needed to modernize the SBU. Many analysts believe that Bakanov, who headed the department in 2019, has failed to improve his work. At the moment, according to Politico, most of the SBU’s daily activities are carried out by the president’s office and by people who are “still in a good mood” towards Zelensky and his chief of staff, Andrei Yermak.
Against the background of the Russian special operation, according to one of the sources of the publication, it may be difficult to replace it smoothly. In addition, he continued, Zelensky is concerned about how the public will evaluate his resignation in his close circle. Bakanov has been criticized in the government and parliament for failing to respond appropriately to the Russian Federation’s special operation and for issuing inappropriate orders to subordinates. “We are extremely dissatisfied with his work and are focused on escaping from him,” an official close to Zelensky told Politico. “We are not happy with his managerial skills, because now we need crisis management skills, which we think he does not have. has.” .
Problems with subordinates
The newspaper emphasizes that it is not only about Bakanov, but also about the decision of Sergei Krivoruchko, the former head of the SBU department of the Kherson region, to order his staff to leave Kherson before the advance of the Russian military against Zelensky. Instructions. “Many heads of the SBU’s regional divisions behaved very strangely. Some fled. One boy, for example, in Chernihiv, burned down the entire SBU building for no reason, simply because he did not have time to take it. Read all the documents,” the source said. The president had previously ousted Andrei Naumov, the former head of the SBU’s main internal security division, who had left the country a few hours before the special operation, and Krivoruchko from the ranks of the generals, Zelensky also called the generals “anti-heroes.”
As Politico points out, the SBU employs more than 30,000 people, seven times more than the British counterintelligence service MI5 and slightly less than the US FBI (35,000 employees). The Ukrainian service has been accused of abuse of power and corruption for many years, and many attempts to reform it have failed.