Ukrainian lawmakers vote no confidence in prosecutor general

Volodymyr Zelenskiy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, center, speaks with lawmakers at the parliament session hall in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 4, 2020. Lawmakers voted vice prime minister Denis Smygal to be the country’s new prime minister replacing Oleksiy Honcharuk. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

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MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Ukrainian lawmakers voted no confidence in the country’s top prosecutor Thursday after the prime minister, foreign minister and defense minister all were replaced in a government shakeup this week.

The parliament vote took place after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy described Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka as ineffective. The president leveled similar criticism against the now-former prime minister.

The director of Ukraine’s state investigative bureau alleged that Ryaboshapka had blocked probes of hundreds of cases in the corruption-riddled country.

A new prosecutor general could be named next week.

Ryaboshapka announced last year that he was reviewing earlier investigations of the founder of the Burisma natural gas company, where the son of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden served on the board for several years.

Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma came under intense scrutiny and a focus of political debate in the United States.

Parliament accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk on Wednesday. New foreign and defense ministers also were named.

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