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Ukrainian Security Service Chief Fired

Valentyn Nalyvaychenko (file photo)

Ukraine's parliament has dismissed the head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), Valentyn Nalyvaychenko.

In a vote at the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada on June 18, 248 lawmakers supported President Petro Poroshenko's request to fire Nalyvaychenko.

The 49-year-old was appointed three months before Poroshenko was elected in May 2014 and was never seen as a supporter of the head of state.

Ukrainian media reported that Poroshenko recently tried to move him to head the foreign intelligence service.

Nalyvaychenko reportedly refused before launching a political counteroffensive that saw the Prosecutor-General's Office accused of covering up corruption and illegal money-making schemes operated by its personnel.

Nalyvaychenko's dismissal comes amid continuing fighting in the country's east, where government forces have been battling pro-Russian separatists since April 2014.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax