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30 Mar, 2024 19:39

Zelensky sacks closest ally

The Ukrainian president has dismissed a long-time aide, Sergey Shefir, as well as several senior advisers
Zelensky sacks closest ally

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky fired his long-time associate and aide Sergey Sherif on Saturday. He has sacked multiple senior advisers in the past week amid an ongoing reshuffle of his administration.

Sherif was one of the few remaining officials to have served alongside Zelensky since day one of his presidency, assuming his post in May 2019. Before getting into politics, he was a long-time close business associate of Zelensky, with whom he had co-founded the Kvartal 95 (District 95) comedy studio.

In September 2021, Sherif survived an assassination attempt when his car was attacked by unknown assailants. The vehicle was riddled with bullets, leaving his driver wounded, while Sherif himself escaped unharmed. At the time, the Ukrainian leadership claimed the hit was retaliation by the country’s “system,” which Zelensky had been purportedly trying to “break.”

Over the past few days, Zelensky had sacked three freelance presidential advisors as well as two plenipotentiary representatives, Natalya Pushkareva and Alyona Verbitskaya, tasked with issues related to the volunteer movement and the rights of military servicemen, respectively.

The firings come as a part of a reshuffling of the Ukrainian leadership launched by Zelensky early this year. Former top general Valery Zaluzhny was the most prominent victim of the effort, being replaced last month by Aleksandr Syrsky. Zaluzhny was rumored to have been at odds with Zelensky for months before raising concerns about the frontline situation publicly late last year.