Zelenskyy has announced the dismissal of 28 employees of the Ukrainian secret service SBU. It is about posts and functions of different levels, “but the reasons are similar: unsatisfactory work results,” said Selenskyj in his daily video speech on Monday evening. The day before he had already suspended his secret service chief and childhood friend Ivan Bakanov and the Attorney General Iryna Venediktova.
Now Zelenskyj promised a revision of the entire work of the secret service. The Ukrainian President recently expressed his anger at the fact that more than 60 employees of the SBU and the General Prosecutor’s Office remained in the occupied territories. Kyiv sees this as high treason. However, the media also pointed out that the 47-year-old Bakanov, as a non-specialist, enjoyed little authority among his employees.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have landed in Iran’s capital Tehran for a summit with their Iranian counterpart. Talks with Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi are planned for Tuesday at the meeting in the Saadabad palace complex. According to official information, the main topic should be the situation in the civil war country Syria. Russia and Iran support the Syrian government, while Turkey is allied with the opposition.
The US House of Representatives supports Finland and Sweden joining NATO. The deputies voted on Monday evening (local time) for a corresponding resolution. In it they express their support for the “historic decision” by Finland and Sweden and call on all NATO members to ratify the accession protocols quickly. Democrat Steny Hoyer, Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, said: “Together Finland and Sweden will add essential capabilities to NATO’s collective defense and make the Baltic region much more secure against Russian attacks.”
The sanctions policy of the EU against Russia is again causing discussions within the international community. At a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday, EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell clearly criticized publicly expressed doubts about the EU’s course.
A seventh package of sanctions, including a gold embargo against Russia, is supposed to be approved this week. A few days before the meeting of foreign ministers, Hungary’s Prime Minister Orban had clearly criticized this – although the sanctions can only be decided unanimously, i.e. only with Hungarian support. At first he still believed that they had only “shot themselves in the foot”, but now it is clear that it was a shot in the lungs of the European economy, which is now struggling for air everywhere, Orban said on Hungarian radio on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Russian authorities are cracking down on criticism of the war in their own country. According to civil rights activist Pavel Chikov, the Interior Ministry, the investigative committee and the FSB secret service have meanwhile opened 200 criminal proceedings against opponents of the war. In many cases, the controversial fake law that was passed in summary proceedings in March serves as the basis for criminal prosecution. Overall, however, the authorities resort to 22 different paragraphs to suppress criticism of the war, which in Moscow can only be called a “military special operation”.
What will be important on Tuesday:
The wife of Ukraine’s President, Olena Zelenska, met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the United States on Monday. Ukraine’s first lady plans to ask for more help before Congress on Wednesday. The US is the largest arms supplier to Ukraine.
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