Ukraine President Zelensky contiues cleaning house of those he suspected that may have sympathy for the Russians…
Russian President Putin has done his own purges…..
Turkey’s President Erdogan is trying to mediate a cease fire….
The decision by President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to replace his head of domestic intelligence and another top official has cast a rare spotlight on the shadow war between Russia and Ukraine, two old adversaries seeking to penetrate their rival’s security networks and gain critical intelligence.
While artillery duels and missile strikes have been the hallmark of the war ravaging Ukraine and the armies of both sides, a clandestine battle is taking place to root out and neutralize anyone deemed to be collaborating with the enemy.
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 had been opened into employees of law enforcement agencies.
The president did not suggest that either of the officials he dismissed was suspected of treason; both are considered allies of Mr. Zelensky, and Mr. Bakanov and the president are childhood friends. But other officials in Mr. Zelensky’s government had blamed them for failing to effectively root out criminals working in the interests of Russia….
Just weeks ago, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey dropped his objections to allowing Finland and Sweden to join NATO — a move that angered President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
Now he is off to Iran for talks with none other than Mr. Putin himself, with President Ebrahim Raisi also in attendance.
The trip highlights Mr. Erdogan’s complicated and often apparently contradictory statecraft. As a member of NATO, Turkey is supposedly allied with pro-Europe Ukraine. And a leading Turkish drone manufacturer is proudly selling drones that Ukrainian forces have used to blow up Russian tanks.
But still, Mr. Erdogan has gotten closer to Mr. Putin in recent years and has kept lines to the Russian leader open, serving as a mediator between him and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and pushing for talks aimed at allowing grain from Ukraine to pass Russia’s blockade to ease global food shortages….
Moscow is carrying out an intense Russification effort in occupied regions, one that appears designed to quash Ukrainians’ sense of history, nationhood and even their language. Targeting what children learn is a key strategy. Ukrainian education “must be corrected,” Russian Education Minister Sergei Kravtsov said at a June 28 meeting of President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party.
Yet the Kremlin’s effort extends far beyond the schools. It already has blocked Ukraine’s cellphone network and media in areas it controls, while broadcasting Russian state propaganda about its “denazification” of the country. It has torn down Ukrainian city signs and replaced them with Russian ones. And under a Putin decree, Moscow is trying to get Ukrainians throughout the country to sign up for Russian passports….