President Volodymyr Zelensky has taken steps to remove security service personnel suspected of disloyalty or having failed to perform their duties during wartime.

On May 30, the Ukrainian leader signed a decree on the dismissal of Roman Dudin from the post of head of the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Kharkiv region.

Zelensky visited Kharkiv the day before and subsequently recorded a video message explaining his reasons for Dudin’s dismissal.

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In the video, the president mentioned holding a meeting with the region’s leadership, during which he was assured of full support and cooperation from the army, the police, the mayor of Kharkiv and the regional state administration.

However, he fired Dudin “for not working to protect the city during the initial days of the full-scale war and thinking only about himself.” He added that law enforcement officers “will find out his motives.”

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According to well-known Kharkiv volunteer Roman Donik, Dudin fled the city on Feb. 24 and evacuated all his people 250 kilometers from Kharkiv.

Earlier disciplinary cases

On March 31, Zelensky accused SBU generals Andrei Naumov and Sergei Krivoruchko of treason, referring to them as “traitors” and “anti-heroes” who violated their military oath.

“Those senior military officers who don’t understand where their homeland is, violated the military oath given to the Ukrainian people to protect our state, will be deprived of the highest military ranks in accordance with Article 48 of the Disciplinary Regulations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”

Naumov joined the SBU in 2019, then became head the main department of internal security in July 2021. According to journalists investigating his movements, Naumov left Ukraine only hours before Russia’s full-scale invasion. His family left earlier.

Meanwhile, the president’s dismissal of Krivoruchko followed reports that he commanded officers to evacuate Kherson before Russian troops captured the city. During their departure, computer servers were allegedly left in the SBU building in Kherson from which Russian forces could gain access to sensitive security data.

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It since became known that the Kherson SBU officers were sent to Chernivtsi.

Just a few days later, counterintelligence services within the SBU detained Igor Sadokhin, assistant of the head of the Kherson SBU and head of the Antiterrorist Center, on suspicion of treason. He was alleged to have shared information about the evacuation operation to Russian special services.

As a result of Sadokhin’s actions, the National Police Department confirmed that Russian “helicopters pursued them” and “they could have lost their lives.”

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