Investigative journalists from the Bihus.Info group claim to have identified those who had installed hidden cameras in hotel rooms to conduct surveillance of the editorial board. They were members of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU).
Details: Reportedly, they were identified with the help of security cameras footage of the resort where Bihus.Info members were staying on 27 December 2023.
The journalists claim that the Department for the Protection of National Statehood of the SSU was behind the operation. Judging from the footage, the Operative-Technical Department of the SSU was also involved in the instalment of surveillance devices.
The operation was ongoing for six days.
At first members of the SSU arrived at the resort twice within the period of 15-22 December 2023 under the guise of commissioning a corporate event. Their goal was to thoroughly inspect the rooms the Bihus.Info members would check into.
The group which was inspecting the place was led by a tall lean man. He was later identified as Ihor Kravchenko, a member of the SSU.
All photos: Bihus.Info
Then, on 26 December, under the guise of holding their own corporate event, 30 people led by Kravchenko arrived at the resort. They brought large suitcases likely containing devices which had to be installed.
The journalists also identified Yevhen Konovalenko who regularly entered the building of the Department for the Protection of National Statehood of the SSU. In 2020 he submitted a declaration as an employee of the SSU.
On 27 December, besides Bihus.Info, several people linked to Ihor Kravchenko checked into the resort. According to the CCTV footage of the resort, they arrived to conduct external surveillance of the Bihus.Info group.
After Bihus.Info left the resort on the evening of 28 December, another group of men checked into most of the rooms where the journalists were staying. At least one of those who earlier had been present at the “corporate event” with Ihor Kravchenko was among these men who apparently came to remove the hidden equipment.
On 1 January, another group, the third one, came to the resort.
The Bihus.Info group thinks that hidden cameras were illegally installed in the sauna and in at least eight rooms (the Morkva, Vyshenki, Khata 2, Khata 3 houses).
Background: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has dismissed Roman Semenchenko, the head of the Department for the Protection of National Statehood of the Security Service of Ukraine.
On 16 January, a video was leaked to the Internet showing Bihus.Info investigation project employees allegedly using narcotic substances. Project manager Denys Bihus recorded a video message with explanations and assured the public that everyone who cooperates with Bihus.Info will take drug tests.
On 17 July, the Ukrainian Security Service announced that it was looking into the circumstances surrounding the illegal wiretapping and video shooting of Bihus.Info project representatives. This has resulted in criminal proceedings.
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