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Established: September 20, 1991
Director: Valerii Khoroshkovskyi[1][2][3]
The First Deputy Chairman:
Deputy Head: Ihor Viktorovych Konovalov
Deputy Head: Valeriy Fedorovych Pidbolyachny
Deputy Head: Oleksandr Oleksandrovych SkipalskiTemplate:Dubious
Deputy Head: Oleh Vasylyovych Skylar
Head of the Anti-Terrorist Center: Valentyn Oleksandrovych NalyvaichenkoTemplate:Dubious

The Security Service of Ukraine (Template:Lang-ua; Sluzhba Bezpeky Ukrayiny), or SBU, is Ukraine's main government security agency.

The SBU is responsible for State security, including: secret police tasks, counterintelligence[4], fighting terrorism, smuggling, illegal trading of restricted substances (WMD material), and personal securityTemplate:Fact of the President, Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council), and other important figures and institutions (see Politics of Ukraine).


The SBU is a successor of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic's Branch of the Soviet KGB, keeping the majority of its 1990s personnel. Since 1992, the agency has been competing in intelligence functions with the intelligence branch of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. Despite this, a former Military Intelligence Chief and career GRU technological espionage expert, Ihor Smeshko, served as an SBU chief until 2005.

In 2004, the SBU's Intelligence Department was reorganized into an independent agency called Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine. It is responsible for all kinds of intelligence as well as for external security. As of 2004, the exact functions of the new service, and respective responsibilities of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine were not regulated yet.

Several years ago, the SBU subsumed the State Directorate of Personal Protection of Ukraine (Template:Lang-uk), the personal protection agency for the most senior government officials, which was the former Ninth Directorate of the Ukrainian KGB.

The SBU uncovered seven spies and 16 special service agents in 2009.[5]

File:Flag of the Security Service of Ukraine.png

Directors of The SBU Edit

Prior to 1954 there were no known security services in Ukraine (at least nominally). With the fall of the Russian Empire the Sovnarkom decided to create an Extraordinary Commission that later was reformed into the Soviet Security Service. Directed from Petrograd at first the commission had several regional departments (Gubcheks) in the fight with the counter-revolution such as the Kiev Cheka, Kharkov Cheka, Odessa Cheka. With the creation of the Soviet Union all the Cheka departments were consolidated into the State Political Directorate of NKVD that consisted of the respective republican ministries. The republican security services were finally integrated into the Ministry of Internal Affairs of USSR on July 10, 1934 through March 13, 1954. At first it was named as the Chief Directorate of the State Security for NKVD, later reorganized during the World War II and the Stalin's death.

KDB of UkrSSR Council of Ministers
SBU (Security Service of Ukraine)

SBU's transgression of the lawEdit

File:SBU Headquarters.jpg

SBU's State Directorate of Personal Protection is known for its former Major Mykola Mel'nychenko, the communications protection agent in President Leonid Kuchma's bodyguard team. Mel'nychenko was the central figure of the Cassette Scandal (2000) — one of the main events in Ukraine's post-independence history. SBU became involved in the case when Mel'nychenko accused Leonid Derkach, SBU Chief at the time, of several crimes, e.g. of clandestine relations with Russian mafia leader Semyon Mogilevich. However, the UDO was subsumed into the SBU after the scandal, so Mel'nychenko himself has never been an SBU agent.

Later, SBU played a significant role in the investigation of the Georgiy Gongadze murder case, the crime that caused the Cassette Scandal itself.

In 2004, General Valeriy Kravchenko, SBU's intelligence representative in Germany, publicly accused his agency of political involvement, including overseas spying on Ukrainian opposition politicians and German TV journalists. He was fired without returning home. After a half-year of hiding in Germany, Kravchenko has returned to Ukraine and surrendered in October 2004 (an investigation is underway).

Later, the agency commanders became involved in the scandal around the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko—a main candidate in the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election. Yushchenko felt unwell soon after supper with SBU Chief Ihor Smeshko, at the home of Smeshko's first deputy. However, neither the politician himself nor the investigators have ever directly accused these officers. It is also important to note that the Personal Protection department has been officially responsible for Yushchenko's personal security since he became a candidate. During the Orange Revolution, several SBU veterans and cadets publicly supported him as president-elect, while the agency as a whole remained neutral.

In 2005, soon after the elections, sacked SBU Chief Smeshko and other intelligence agents raised their own version of the revolution events. According to that version, they have prevented militsiya from violent oppression of the protests, contradicting the orders of President Kuchma and threatening militsiya with armed involvement of SBU's special forces units. This story was first described by the American journalist K.J.Chivers of New York Times and has never been supported documentally or legally.

Analysts agree that SBU is relatively free of political involvement compared to the Ukrainian militsiya, which is considered to be mainly responsible for persecution of opposition activists and ignoring crimes against them. However, the SBU is widely suspected of illegal surveillance and eavesdropping of offices and phones.

An episode of human rights abuse by SBU happened during the case of serial killer Anatoly Onoprienko. Yuriy Mozola, an initial suspect in the investigation, died in SBU custody in Lviv as a result of torture. Several agents were convicted in the case.[6]

The SBU remains a political controversial subject in Ukrainian politics.[7]

Current Security Service of Ukraine Head Valeriy Khoroshkovsky is also owner of U.A. Inter Media Group which owns mayor shares in various Ukrainian TV channels a.o. Inter TV.[8] For Khoroshkovsliy voted 238 members of the Verkhovna Rada, however the head of the parliamentary committee for the National Security and Defense Anatoliy Hrytsenko stated that the committee accepted the decision to recommend Verkhovna Rada to deny the candidature of Khoroshkovskiy on the post of the chairman of Security Service of Ukraine.[9]

As Khoroshkovskiy promised SBU under his leadership does what it supposed to do... to protect the president rather than the interests of Ukraine. On July 26, 2010 SBU arrested a internet blogger, however, a silly warrant for his arrest brought only the next day. SBU accused the blogger in threatening the President of Ukraine and after a short discussion let him go.[10] The threat was perceived in blogger's statement-curse "Let the thunder strike Yanukovych!". However, SBU showed a rather passive reaction on the statements of the Russian State official who continues to claim that Crimea and Sevastopol belongs to the Russian Federation.[11]

SBU and KhoroshkovskiyEdit

Article of Konrad Shuller on July 19, 2010[12][13]

Recently Khoroshkovskiy made a few misses as some of the operations of the spec-service has failed. For example, the rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv Borys Gudziak after the unwelcome visit not only did not break, but was so loud in his complaints that forced Khoroshkovskiy to apologize. Later the head of the Kiev Bureau of Konrad Adenauer Foundation Niko Lange was detained for a short while and was released only after he was vouched by several high-ranking officials from the German Chancellery. The Security Service asked to formulate that incident as a simple misunderstanding.

Khoroshkovskiy being the Chairman of SBU got rid of the main competition of Ukrainian TV-giant Inter, the owner of which officially is his wife Olena Khoroshkovskiy, in the face of TVi and Channel 5.

Konrad Shuller from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) also believes that the most important string of his power lies through the group RosUkrEnergo. The President's spokesman Hanna German in the interview to this newspaper did not argue that Dmytro Firtash was one of the sponsors of the Presidential Party of Regions, with the help of which Khoroshkovskiy was appointed to the position of the State Security chairman. Khoroshkovskiy in his turn argued any connections to RosUkrEnergo. However it is a fact that Firtash possesses certain privileges in Inter. Mr. Shuller also stated that SBU acts in direct association with the RosUkrEnergo arresting their main opponents (see RosUkrEnergo) in order to recover their invested money in the recent presidential campaign.

Khoroshkovskiy did not wish to give an interview to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, however Mr.Shuller at the end of his article posted an interesting quote from one of his other interviews: Template:Cquote


External linksEdit

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