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Zelensky dismisses security chief; missiles hit Mykolaiv

Resident Raisa Kuval, 82, reacts after shelling in the city of Chuhuiv, east of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Saturday. (Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images)
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In his government’s most high-level shake-up during the war with Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed Ivan Bakanov, head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). Bakanov’s SBU, the domestic intelligence and security agency, had come under criticism since the start of the war after three former officials were charged with treason in late March.

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Zelensky also fired Iryna Venediktova, the nation’s prosecutor general, who had been investigating war crimes.

As of Sunday, Ukraine had registered 651 criminal proceedings against employees across several high-level offices for allegedly collaborating with Russians or working against the nation’s goals, Zelensky said in his nightly address shortly after announcing the dismissals. Such officials will be held accountable, he said.

Earlier Sunday, Russian missiles hit industrial areas of Mykolaiv — which is emerging as a major focus for Russia as it seeks to push toward Odessa from eastern areas under its control — in the second such attack there in three days. Russia also appears set to resume its ground offensive in southern and eastern Ukraine, following what analysts called a pause for troops to regroup. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told troops on Saturday to intensify attacks “in all operational sectors” of Ukraine, while Ukrainian officials said there was shelling “along the entire front line.”

Here’s what else to know:

  • 50,000 Russian soldiers have either died or been injured in Ukraine — resulting in a significant loss of land combat effectiveness, said Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, chief of the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces.
  • A Ukrainian cargo plane carrying mines crashed in northern Greece, killing all eight Ukrainian crew members onboard. Amid speculation that the shipment might be bound for Ukraine, Serbia’s defense minister said the mines were being sent to Bangladesh.
  • Fighting is ongoing in the Luhansk region, where the governor said two towns were still in Ukrainian control. Russia claimed control of the entire region this month.