In a highly unusual move, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has removed two of this own generals for being "traitors" - as he announced in a Friday post on the presidency's website.
"Today another decision was made. Regarding antiheroes. Now I do not have time to deal with all the traitors. But gradually they will all be punished," Zelensky said, suggesting that he thinks more "traitors" are in the ranks which will soon be dealt with.
The statement identified the pair of generals in the following: "That is why the ex-chief of the Main Department of Internal Security of the Security Service of Ukraine Naumov Andriy Olehovych and the former head of the Office of the Security Service of Ukraine in the Kherson region Kryvoruchko Serhiy Oleksandrovych are no longer generals," according to the presidency's website.
These were top command posts. With the "Main Department of Internal Security" being the country's main intelligence agency.
The president didn't specify what the allegations were, or the precise nature of their alleged traitorous activities, only do say they "have not decided where their homeland is" - suggesting perhaps pro-Russian sympathies, or also refusal to carry out state orders at the command level.
Zelensky stated: "According to Article 48 of the Disciplinary Statute of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, those servicemen among senior officers who have not decided where their homeland is, who violate the military oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people [in regard to] the protection of our state, its freedom and independence, will inevitably be deprived of senior military ranks. Random generals don't belong here!"
Despite some Western reports in the past days pointing to a Russian troop draw down near Chernihiv and Kiev, Zelensky told the public to prepare for "powerful strikes" - also amid reports the Russians are preparing to conduct attacks from longer ranges out.
Without giving specifics, Zelensky also said he stripped two Ukrainian generals of their rank, calling them “traitors.” Andriy Naumov, ex-head of department of internal security at the Security Service of Ukraine, and Serhiy Kryvoruchko, ex-head of SBU directorate in Kherson. pic.twitter.com/LHQRTiJOkp— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) April 1, 2022
"The invaders are allocating their sick creativity to the temporarily occupied areas of the Kherson region," he said. "Also in Donbas, in Mariupol, in the Kharkiv direction, Russian troops are accumulating the potential for strikes. Powerful strikes."