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Eastern Express 21.07

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has publicly ousted two of his top officials and close colleagues: Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova and Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) head Ivan Bakanov. What prompted Zelenskyy to take this step? And how acute is the issue of Russian sympathisers threatening to derail the process of governance?

Since the beginning of the war, Ukrainian officials have set up a broader decommunisation plan for public spaces all across the country. What’s more, Ukraine did its utmost to promote the use of the Ukrainian language instead of Russian as well as to bring about the removal of Soviet-era monuments. Back when Ukraine was still part of the USSR, various forms of symbolic violence were used to dilute Ukraine’s national identity. Today, Ukrainian authorities want to eliminate the last vestiges of this bygone era, irreconcilable with Ukraine’s status as a sovereign nation.

But Ukraine’s domestic political rivalry has remained intense, despite the overall unifying focus on the war effort. For example, Ukraine’s former president, Petro Poroshenko, is considered loyal to state authorities and the country’s leader, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine started, however, the former president was accused of treason. This is but one of many examples that the war did not bring a state of complete harmony in Ukrainian politics, merely a ceasefire until the bigger threat is dealt with.

TVP World’s guest

Mychailo Winnyckyj, Kyiv Mohyla Academy was TVP World’s guest, invited to shed more light on the issue

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