Zelensky purges two of his top security service officials
Zelensky delivered another green screen speech where he denounced two Security Service heads as “traitors” and said they had been stripped of all rank and would be punished. Zelensky repeatedly referred to them as “generals.”
These include Naumov Olehovych, Head of the Department of Internal Security of the Security Service, and Kryvorochko Oleksandrovych, Head of the Security Service of the Kherson Region.
Since February, Zelensky has sacked at least four governors and replaced them with new people. Zelensky’s new governor of Odesa Oblast is Maksym Marchenko, the former leader of the notorious volunteer militia Aidar Battalion. This militia is accused of war crimes in the Donbas by mainline humanitarian groups. Aidar became so notorious that in March of 2015, Kiev arrested five members and pretended to disband it. However, these members were never prosecuted, and the Battalion was given a new name and incorporated into the National Guard. Thus making it more powerful than before.
On March 5th, a member of Zelensky’s negotiating team was executed. Denis Kireev had participated in the first two rounds of talks in Belarus before he was shot dead on a sidewalk in Kiev. Zelensky announced that he died “defending Ukraine.” However, just two hours earlier, members of the Ukrainian parliament announced he had been executed as a traitor.
Meanwhile, the Russian army has evacuated large areas of Kiev and Chernihiv Oblasts. Ukrainian troops are rushing in to take possession of these areas. Zelensky declared that Russia was being defeated and was retreating. However, in the same speech, he said Russia was only moving troops to move advantageous positions, and the war was long from being over.
Ukraine hit the Belgorod area of Russia for the third time. They destroyed a fuel depot with attack helicopters.
15k Ukrainian troops are said to have arrived in Dnipro.
Round two of talks in Istanbul has started today.
The Red Cross reports that some civilians still can not be reached in Mariupol. Substantial numbers of Ukrainian combatants are still actively fighting in some neighborhoods. Many have ditched uniforms and fight in plain clothes with no identifying marks such as yellow or blue tape. It is unclear how many Ukrainian combatants remain.