Zelenskiy orders purge of state guard after assassination plots

Ukrainian President Zelenskiy takes part in a graduation ceremony for Ukrainian army officers in Kyiv

(Reuters) - President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the new chief of Ukraine's state guard service to clear its ranks of people discrediting it after two of its officers were accused of plotting to assassinate senior officials.

The state security service (SBU) said last month that it had caught two guard service colonels accused of cooperating with Russia to plot the assassination of Zelenskiy and other officials, including military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov.

The guard service provides security for various governement officials.

Introducing Colonel Oleksiy Morozov to the staff on Monday, Zelenskiy said his main task was to ensure that only those who see their future tied with Ukraine join the agency - his first comments since the agents were arrested.

"And, of course, the agency must be cleared of anyone who chooses not Ukraine for themselves or discredits the state guard service," he said on Telegram.

Zelenskiy dismissed Morozov's predecessor Serhiy Rud in May, two days after the SBU detained agency employees who it said worked for Russia's Federal Security Service and leaked classified information. There was no comment from Moscow.

(Reporting by Yuliia Dysa; Editing by Angus MacSwan)