Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set to appoint a new head for the National Statehood Protection Department of the Ukraine’s SBU Security Service on Feb. 1, following the dismissal of Roman Semenchenko from the position, as per the president’s decree on Jan. 31.
“We are aware that we are protecting a democratic Ukraine, in which the strengthening of national statehood is one of the key priorities, the implementation of which should ensure, among other things, the unimpeded work of the media and guarantee them a sufficient level of security,” the SBU said, adding that it wanted to optimize approaches to the department’s work.
Earlier, the President said that any form of pressure on journalists is unacceptable, reacting to the surveillance of journalists associated with the Bihus.Info project.
Read also: Bihus.Info reveals unlawful surveillance at New Year’s party
Bihus.Info journalists are known for their important investigations into the Ukrainian government and politicians.
A video surfaced online on Jan. 16 allegedly showing Bihus.Info staff using drugs. Bihus claimed that there had been illegal surveillance lasting about a year, with edited fragments from different times.
Read also: Ghost outlet deletes covert surveillance video of Bihus.Info team amid police investigation
Project manager Denys Bihus stated that the surveillance and wiretapping were illegal. Deputy editor-in-chief Maksym Opanasenko claimed that the team had been bugged for several months.
The SBU initiated a criminal case on Jan. 17 for illegal eavesdropping and video recording by the outlet’s employees. Law enforcement does not rule out violations of drug-related laws in the published materials.
Semenchenko has served in the SBU since 1993. In October 2022, he was appointed as the National Statehood Protection Department’s head.
In 2019, Slidstvo.info wrote that Semenchenko’s family owns two apartments (including a 500-square-meter apartment), nine plots of land and three SUVs.
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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine