Gee, it only took Volodomyr Zelensky 4 1/2 months to figure out he should not have put a childhood buddy in charge of Ukraine’s intelligence service. Ivan Bakanov is a political hack. He had no intelligence experience prior to the moment that Zelensky tagged him to be in charge of the SBU. Zelensky shook things up today:
Zelensky: “I have decided to remove the Prosecutor General, Iryna Venediktova, from office and to remove the head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Ivan Bakanov.”
As of today, 651 criminal proceedings have been registered regarding high treason and collaborative activities of employees of the prosecutor’s office, pre-trial investigation bodies, and other law enforcement agencies. Suspicion was reported to the relevant persons in 198 criminal proceedings.
In particular, more than 60 employees of the Prosecutor’s office and the SBU have remained in the occupied territory and are working against our state.
Such an array of crimes against the foundations of the national security of the state and the communications that are recorded between employees of the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine and the special services of Russia raise very serious questions to the relevant leaders. Each of these questions will receive a proper answer.”
The new head of the SBU, Vasily Malyuk, was the number two guy before ascending to the top spot. I suspect the British and US intelligence officials on scene may be more comfortable with Malyuk. Yet, scapegoating Bakanov for leaks of information that ostensibly led to such crushing blows as the defeat of the mercenary camp at the Yavorovsky training ground or the recent blow of the missile strike that hit the meeting of the Ukrainian Air Force command with foreign military in Vinnytsia, does not absolve Malyk of responsibility.
I have do doubt that Russia’s FSB penetrated Ukraine’s SBU and had several agents passing secrets along. However, we cannot rule out the possibility that Russia’s intelligence officers also fed false information to the Ukrainians that made innocent SBU officers appear to be collaborators or traitors. Instead of bringing order to an already suspect organization, Zelensky’s latest move is likely to spawn further chaos and distrust. Any SBU officer with a modicum of moxie will be looking over their shoulder wondering if they can trust their superiors.
The SBU has an additional problem–rounding up accused traitors leaves a gap in the field that is not easily nor quickly filled. It is reasonable to assume that the SBU officers accused of spying for Russia had been in the forward areas for a while and had established “trusted” contacts. That is all up in the air now. This move comes at an inopportune time. Ukraine desperately needs human intelligence from the frontlines as Russia ramps up its offensive. Zelensky’s move, whether justified or not, simply makes that task more difficult, if not impossible in the short term.
Why now? Specifically now?
Well, you had the Vinnytsia missile strike, then the notice on the US govt website just a short while later – like a day?
Seems to me like some important folks got smoked.
It’s laughable how these idiot politicians wear a military Uniforms from Zelenski to others, brings back memories of that fat pig, Porshenko wearing full army fatigues.
Harry Hobbes says
Shades of The Big Cookout!!!
The Ukrainians kinda’ remind me of the Vietnamese “compatriots” during the Big Cookout: loyalty lasted until the next “souvenir me” iteration.
Considering that Ukraine is one of the World’s top kleptocracies, a “let’s make a deal” culture/mentality would normally extend to all levels of military/intelligence relationships within everyday interactions, if only for the sake of not being “the last Ukrainian” to be expended.
The costs of being an American proxy are well known; the smart money “hedges.” (Just ask the Vietnamese.)
It is wrong to judge a person by their looks. However, Vasily Malyuk does not look like an intellectual to me. Got any videos of him talking. Does look brighter than Biden these days
Does not look like the fizziest bottle in the fridge.
Intelligence within the ellensky regime is an oxymoronic thought don’t you think having an entertainment company run the government has to let you know that this is all propaganda soros runs ukraine not the west he runs those as well he is crazy but no fool they are up to something or he decided to shake things up a bit
Remember they are in this for the long haul they need to destroy the west governments and people doing a very good job of it shame they believe ukrainians are expendable
“missile strike that hit the meeting of the Ukrainian Air Force command with foreign military in Vinnytsia”
i wonder how many dead high ranking western/NATO officials in ukraine due to russian missile bombardment. im not talking about the trigger pullers low level guys but the high ranking ones..
maybe the next step of ukrop provocation will be a bombardment of UK/US/NATO decision centers inside ukraine ? a miss-ile hit on UK and US embassy
There will be more I think if Ukraine launches HIMARS rockets at Crimea.
I’m sure they will try but the Crimea is heavily defended but the Russians might react severely to any attack. Even one that is defeated.
Eric Newhill says
The Russians hitting that kind of target, especially in central and western UKR, which they appear to be accomplishing with some regularity is, IMO, due to Russians or Russian sympathizers with cell phones, in the vicinity of the targets, identifying the targets. Some of it could be more sophisticated target identification, but I think most is not. Someone is dialing up the Russian command and telling them, “Hey there’s a bunch of Ukie brass meeting in this building on the fifth floor” or “there’s a barracks with foreign mercenaries and foreign ordnance in this town at these coordinates”
This is another intelligence challenge on top of what Larry notes. I don’t know how Zelensky can deal with it short of draconian paranoid measures. Certainly not with the crew he has onboard, as Larry has written. Maybe some of that crew has indeed been working to undermine Zelensky as well.
Messing with SBU might forced them to act like roman’s palace guard that kill the emperor.. simplified of course , but it seem using disgruntled SBU as cover for russian coup a logical move. Might also capture/kill those pesky UK/US agents protecting zelensky
Hmm. This might be the beginning of a damage control exercise by the US deep state. They foresee a situation where Russia is winning and USA is not willing to concede defeat for geopolitical face saving purposes. A way out may be to assassinate Ze and blame it on Russian moles within the SBU. They would groom a patsy who takes credit for Ze’s murder on treason charges, declares himself to be the head of an interim government, announces readiness for unconditional surrender and is then eliminated himself by “unknown” Nazi assailants. There is no formal government left unless some dumb head from the Verkhovna Rada declares himself to be the next head of government. USA shrug their shoulder, Russia moves on and conquers what it wants and tacitly encourages Poland and Hungary and perhaps also Belarus to take what They want. In the resulting melee, a corridor is opened connecting Belarus to Kaliningrad. USA says the Ukrainians did all the damage to themselves and comes out without being directly held accountable for the debacle. The firing of the Head of SBU may be the opening scene of this stage play.
Just found this article speaking in similar terms
Jorge Rodrigues says
Zelensky and his flunkies seem to suffer from a massive “Intelligence” problem, as well …
Oy Vey, Ukraine is losing on all fronts. The destruction of the country and government continues unabated so it seems. Generals leaving, Russian speaking Ukrainian citizens uprising against their government, Nazis flooding the streets of Ukraine, wheat being destroyed another Stalin like famine in the works, 50 Billion dollars squandered and high tech weapons being destroyed. Oy Vey, but yet, they keep on marching on, but yet, this rag tag bunch of fighters continue to defend (I remember Washington’s Army), but yet the government of Ukraine does not have any threat of a coupe, will not yet. Something does not add up, this fight has gone on way to long for this rag tag, as others believe Nazi regime to exist. What is keeping them from surrendering, what is keeping the Russians from total annihilation at a warp speed pace?
George Chamberlain says
And then there is the Zelensky coup rumors.
Or, Zelensky gets assassinated by a crazy Russian, of course.
Regardless of how they get rid of him, I think the decision to get rid of him has already been made.
“What is keeping them from surrendering, what is keeping the Russians from total annihilation at a warp speed pace?” that would shorten the game, the chief restraining factors are the russians and their Zelinski.
Pompidou wasn’t the only reprobate in history. And don’t I correctly remember that Washington himself was a British agent (no offence meant). Ukraine is a theatrical masterpiece ending in world domination. That aspiration of all Empires, & there are only two – US and russian. US/Nato is losing. Then the only victors can be russia.
Gold is very powerful as the British knew when it was their turn. And infinitely preferable to war, which is just messy and dirty.
Obvious that zelensky and his admin , a bunch of no load out of place people are just puppets with minders from foreign intelligence. This latest firing is rather senseless because the rot inside SBU occurs at every level not just the top. I guess this firing is a way of revenge by the western minders for their loss of high ranking people in that meeting. They must be seething in anger and they begun to run a campaign of distrust to root out all traitors , alas it is impossible given the short time frame and pressure of SMO.
I begin to believe the russian will regime change ukrop nazi govt for the western part of ukraine , and turn ukraine into cechnya-like entity.. The brutal salafi and arab funded chechen that far more ferocious than lame ukrop NAZI can be cleansed and replaced by normal chechens , this also applicable to the ukrop NAZIs .. of course unrepentant ukrop nazis can move to EU and spread their doctrine there
A more apt headline for the post would have been, UKRAINE’S ZELENSKY HAS An “INTELLIGENCE” PROBLEM !
Eric Newhill says
Everyone has been looking at the situation in Ukraine as a straight up invasion with the usual set of tactics and strategies to be applied. However, I’m starting to think that is also – or will soon be – a counter insurgency effort on UKR’s part. A counter insurgency has a different set of intelligence operations needs than repelling a straight up invasion. I think Zelensky/US has their hands full.
Can someone tell me how I can get a job like that, shooting the breeze with no come-back?
So Zelinsky is looking for a new Prosector General. Is that guy who was once investigating Burisma still available?
Keith Harbaugh says
Prosecutor General in Ukraine seems to be a tough post to survive in.
Anyone else remember Viktor Shokin, and his predecessors and successors?
All came in for fierce criticism.
See a list of them: