President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed Ruslan Demchenko from the position he held at the National Security and Defense Council on Monday, July 25. The respective order was published on the website of the President’s Office.
"To dismiss Ruslan Mykhailovych Demchenko from his position as the First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council," the document reads out.
Who Ruslan Demchenko is
Demchenko is a former adviser to Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his predecessor, Petro Poroshenko. In the media, he was often dubbed the "gray cardinal" of the Foreign Ministry in the times of the runaway president Viktor Yanukovych.
According to the data published on the NSDC website, he worked as the Consul General in Istanbul and the Ukrainian ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro. In 2006, he was head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine. He was Poroshenko’s adviser since 2014, and in 2019, he became adviser to Zelenskyy. On June 16, 2020, he was appointed First Deputy NSDC Secretary.
According to the Skhemy program, in 2010, Demchenko reported on the preparation of the so-called Kharkiv Accords in parliament at a meeting of the committee for national security and urged MPs to vote for the agreements to prolong the stationing of the Russian Black Sea fleet in Crimea. In 2021, the NSDC instructed the Security Service of Ukraine to investigate the circumstances of preparation and ratification of the "Kharkiv Accords".
Moreover, since Demchenko was a high-ranking official in the times of the Revolution of Dignity, he qualified for lustration, the prohibition of holding public office. His name briefly appeared on the list of persons who qualified for the law on lustration published on the website of the Ministry of Justice, but later disappeared. In Zelenskyy’s office, the results of the official’s lustration check were classified.
Context. During the media marathon dedicated to the middle point of Zelemskyy’s presidential term, journalist Yurii Butusov accused him of lying about the failed special operation to capture mercenaries from the Wagner PMC and the notorious appointment of Ruslan Bemchenko as First Deputy NSDC Secretary.
Commenting on Demchenko’s appointment, the President said that he wasn’t lustrated but appointed First Deputy NSDC Secretary because in times of Yanukovych, he was deputy minister and didn’t sign any notorious documents.