Zelensky removes two top officials as Ukraine tries to root out Russian collaborators: report
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (AFP/Ukraine Presidency/Handout)

On Monday, The New York Times reported that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is dismissing two top government officials, at the same time the Ukrainian government is gearing up to root out suspected Russian collaborators in the civil service.

"Mr. Zelensky alluded to the battle in a televised speech late on Sunday. In announcing the dismissal of Ivan Bakanov, the leader of Ukraine’s Security Service, and the removal of Iryna Venediktova, the prosecutor general, Mr. Zelensky noted that hundreds of treason investigations have been opened into employees of law enforcement agencies," said the report. "The president did not suggest that either of the officials he dismissed was suspected of treason. But he said that both had failed to effectively root out criminals working in the interests of Russia."

"Ukraine had so far initiated 651 criminal proceedings against employees of law enforcement agencies, as well as the prosecutor’s office and pretrial investigation bodies over 'treason and collaboration activities,' he said," the report continued. "'Such an array of crimes,' Mr. Zelensky said, 'pose very serious questions to the relevant leadership.'"

The prosecutor general position in Ukraine, the country's equivalent of the U.S. Attorney General, has been fraught with international controversy over the years. Before becoming president, Joe Biden played a role in leaning on Ukraine to oust a prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, accused of widespread corruption. Former President Donald Trump and his allies baselessly tried to claim that this was a plot to shut down an investigation into an energy company Biden's son had a stake in.

READ MORE: Texas mom went through 'nightmare' after being denied treatment for miscarriage: CNN

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which Vladimir Putin has claimed is simply a security operation to protect so-called "independent republics" in the east declared by Moscow-backed separatists, has drawn overwhelming opposition from around the world.