1. Zelensky removed Venediktova from the duties of the Prosecutor General by the second part of Article 11 of the Law “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law,” the decree states. The Verkhovna Rada voted for this norm only in May 2022. It gives the President the right, during the period of martial law, “to decide on the removal from the position of an official, the appointment and dismissal of which is within his powers, and the suspension for the corresponding period performance of duties for another person.” According to the law, the appointment of the Prosecutor General and the head of the Security Service of Ukraine is the authority of the Verkhovna Rada. However, it is done at the request of the President. The Constitution does not provide for the President’s powers to suspend or remove the heads of the Ukrainian National Security Service or the SBU. By another decree, Zelensky entrusted the duties of the Prosecutor General to Deputy Prosecutor General Oleksiy Symonenko. He is called a creature of the deputy head of the Office of President Oleg Tatarov. Simonenko was responsible for transferring the case of Tatarov from NABU to the SBU. Venediktova was removed due to strained relations with the President’s Office. In particular, the dissatisfaction of Zelenskyi’s team was caused by the media activity of the Prosecutor General and her decision to transfer cases against Russian military prisoners to court in an accelerated mode. According to people involved in the negotiations with the Russians, it could threaten trials of Ukrainian prisoners in Russia and the suspension of exchanges. Also, by his decree, the President removed Ivan Bakanov from the duties of the head of the Security Service of Ukraine. “By Article 47 of the disciplinary statute of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, approved by the Law of Ukraine of March 24, 1999, No. 551-XIV, remove Ivan Gennadiyovych Bakanov from the duties of the head of the Security Service of Ukraine,” the decree reads. This article provides for the removal of a serviceman from the performance of official duties for “failure to perform (improper performance of) official duties that resulted in human casualties or other serious consequences or created a threat of such consequences.” It is likely that after the “removal” of Bakanov, the duties of the head of the SBU will be performed by his first deputy, Vasyl Malyuk. Bakanov and Yermak had a long-standing conflict over influence over the President. (Source: UP).
1. “In the large cities of Luhansk Region, which the Russians captured already in the summer, 10-15% of the population remained. Unfortunately, they did not perceive the information about the mobilization of men in the previously occupied part of the region and did not see a threat to themselves. They were sure that “Russian peace” – this is, above all, a decent life. And now, not having a house that the enemy destroyed, they turn into scoundrels, going to kill the inhabitants of neighboring settlements. Some voluntarily. Others again do not believe numerical warnings but see advertisements with incredibly high salaries and, for some reason, are confident that life will improve. And after a few days, they humbly go to the trenches. With a summons. This is what they “waited and waited for” for several years?” – says the head of LOMA Serhii Gaidai. The main direction of the occupiers after Lysychansk is Bakhmut, but “the road to this city runs through the small territory of Luhansk region that still holds defenses.” The occupiers fire rockets and use aviation to break through Ukrainian defenses. On Sunday, July 17, settlements on the border of the Luhansk region and the Donetsk region withstood five airstrikes. There was 13 attacks from artillery and volley fire systems, to which “everyone was already used to.” return to the position,” Gaidai said. And Oleksandr Stryuk reported that humanitarian problems are accumulating in occupied Severodonetsk: there is a shortage of food, a complete lack of centralized communications, and the occupiers are transporting water around the city sewage treatment plants have been destroyed, and there are also problems with gas. Suppose the Russians manage to deliver gas to the borders of Severodonetsk. In that case, the blue fuel will be unavailable in the city itself due to the significant destruction of the distribution network. The hospital still has a stock of medicines. At the time of the occupation, five doctors and ten junior medical personnel worked there. One of the doctors has already left for the territory controlled by the Government. The others have remained. (Source: UP).
2. UAF General Staff: In the Donetsk direction, enemy units fired on civilian and military infrastructure in the areas of Donetske, Siversk, Verkhnokamyanske, Hryhorivka, Ivano-Daryivka, Spirne, and other settlements. The enemy is trying to conduct an assault near Hryhorivka, and the fighting continues. Our defenders successfully repulsed the assaults in the areas of Verkhnokamianske, Spirne, and Serebryanka settlements. (Source: Facebook).
1. UK Intelligence: Due to the lowering of criteria for recruiting recruits, the involvement of convicts and the short training of PMC “Wagner” will lose its leading role in the war waged by Russia in Ukraine. Russia used the private military company Wagner to bolster its front-line forces and reduce personnel shortages and casualties. “Wagner” almost certainly played a central role in the last battles, including the capture of Popasnaya and Lysychansk. These battles caused heavy losses to the group. “Wagner” lowers recruitment standards and hires convicts and people previously on “black lists.” Very little training is available for recruits. It will most likely affect the group’s future operational effectiveness and reduce its value as a support for regular Russian forces,” the report said. Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin was recently awarded the title Hero of the Russian Federation for Wagner’s work in Luhansk. Intelligence officials suggest that when a number of high-ranking Russian military commanders are being replaced, it is likely to exacerbate discontent between the military and Wagner. They add that it is also expected to hurt the morale of the Russian army. (Source: Twitter).
Economy, Social life, and Culture
1. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation, the SBU has been investigating more than 500 cases of collaborative activity. In particular, in the Luhansk region, SBU employees exposed a former deputy of the district council from the Party of Regions for collaborating with the occupiers. Another collaborator from the Luhansk region agreed to be appointed to the so-called “prosecutor’s office of the Bilokuraky district of the LPR”. A resident of Starobilsk, who at the beginning of May became the “chief inspector of the customs committee of the LPR” was also informed about the suspicion. In the Donetsk region, two residents of Mariupol were exposed, who voluntarily agreed to take the positions of temporary acting in the management of the “district department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the DPR”. In Kherson Oblast, SBU employees exposed a teacher of one of the Kakhovka schools for collaborating with the enemy. It was established that the perpetrator joined the ranks of the occupation administration and was appointed “director” of the educational institution. Currently, comprehensive measures are being taken to uncover all the facts. (Source: Telegram).
1. During the air raid, powerful explosions, at least 10, were heard again in Mykolaiv, Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Sienkovych said in a telegram. (Source: Censor).