On Tuesday, Zelensky administration confirmed dismissal of two key intelligence agency deputy heads.

Among the top officials removed was Ruslan Baranetskii, the SBU first deputy head, who is often mentioned in relation to Wagner mercenaries capture scheme – the top intelligence official allegedly reported  on then in-the-works covert operation to Zelensky and his aides before it notably fell through. Media reports alleged information leak from top state officials behind the operation failure.

Another SBU top official removed  is Vasyl Malyuk who was made the intelligence agency deputy head a year ago –  in March 2020.

With two deputy heads exiting, the SBU is now left with only one active deputy head  Serhiy Andrushchenko-  he will also step in as Antiterror Center head in place of removed Baranetskii.

The reshuffle aims to provide ‘system transformation’ of  the key intelligence agency and comes in line with the idea of ‘its future reforms’,  said the president’ office in its announcement.

We have to start transformation on the very first day, just not to lose time for adapting to the decisions made’, said the Ukrainian president in his comments on the SBU reforms, urging the intelligence agency to address contraband issue.