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Ukraine’s Security Service makes “personnel decisions” after Bihus.Info publishes investigation into surveillance of its journalists

Published:

The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) stated on 5 February that the leadership had made some “decisions” concerning the personnel of the Department for the Protection of National Statehood after the investigation by the Bihus.Info project about illegal surveillance of its journalists.

Source: press service of the SSU

Quote: “The leadership of the SSU has also made corresponding personnel decisions concerning the Department for the Protection of National Statehood and optimised the directions of its work.”

Details: The SSU adds that some members of Bihus.Info were clients of known drug dealers.

Specifically, there is information about an operator who was involved in a criminal case about illegal manufacturing, production, purchase, storage, transportation, shipment or trafficking of drugs, psychotropic substances or their analogues.

The SSU has opened a criminal case under Article 359 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (illegal purchase, trafficking or usage of special technical means of gathering information).

Background:

  • Investigative journalists from the Bihus.Info project claim to have identified those who had installed hidden cameras in hotel rooms to conduct surveillance of its editorial board.

  • 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.

  • 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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