Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sacked his UK ambassador, days after he criticised the president on Sky News.
Vadym Prystaiko was dismissed this morning, just over three years to the day since he was given the job in London.
Zelenskyy sacks UK ambassador – live updates
A diplomatic source told the PA news agency Mr Prystaiko had been fired after publicly criticising Mr Zelenskyy.
Speaking to Sky News’ Kay Burley last week, he labelled the president’s “sarcastic” response to demands he shows more gratitude for Western support as unhealthy.
Zelenskyy’s spat with Wallace
It came after UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace appeared to show frustration with Mr Zelenskyy’s continued requests for more military aid.
“The UK is not an ‘Amazon’ delivery service for weapons to Ukraine,” he quipped at a NATO summit in Lithuania.
Mr Zelenskyy later said: “How else can we show our gratitude?
“We can wake up in the morning and thank the minister. Let him write to me and tell me how to thank him.”
Zelenskyy’s response ‘not healthy’
Mr Prystaiko distanced himself from his president’s response during his interview with Kay Burley.
“I believe it was responded by a little bit of sarcasm,” he said. “I don’t believe that this sarcasm is healthy.
“We don’t have to show the Russians that we have something between us.
“They have to know that we are working together.
“If an issue happens, Ben [Wallace] can call me and tell me everything he wants.”
Can Ukraine win the war – or are we kidding ourselves?
Prystaiko’s long career in politics
As well as being sacked as UK ambassador, Mr Prystaiko has been removed as Ukraine’s representative to the International Maritime Organization.
Before being appointed to London in July 2020, he spent two decades working in Kyiv’s foreign policy unit.
He has worked in embassies and consulates around the world, including in Australia, Canada, and the US, and was Ukraine’s head of mission for NATO in 2017.
Mr Prystaiko has also served as his president’s foreign policy adviser and deputy chief of staff.