Template:Infobox Government agency

The Security Service of Ukraine (Template:Lang-ua; Sluzhba Bezpeky Ukrayiny), or SBU, is Ukraine's special purpose law enforcement agency and main government security agency in a sphere of counterintelligence activity and combating terrorism.

Duties and Responsibilities[edit | edit source]

The Security Service of Ukraine is vested, within its competence defined by law, with the protection of national sovereignty, constitutional order, territorial integrity, economical, scientific, technical, and defense potential of Ukraine, legal interests of the state, and civil rights, from intelligence and subversion activities of foreign special services and from unlawful interference attempted by certain organizations, groups and individuals, as well with ensuring the protection of state secrets.[1]

Other duties include fight against crimes that endanger the peace and security of mankind, terrorism, corruption, and organized criminal activities in the sphere of management and economy, as well as other unlawful acts immediately threatening Ukraine's vital interests.

The SBU uncovered seven spies and 16 special service agents in 2009.[2]

Structure[edit | edit source]

  • Central Apparatus (consists of some 25 departments)
    • Main Directorate on Corruption and Organized Crime Counteraction
  • Regional Departments (26 departments)
  • Special Department
  • Anti-Terrorist Center cooperates with numerous ministries and other state agencies such as the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Emergencies, State Border Guard Service, and others.
  • Educational Institutions
    • National Academy of Security Service of Ukraine
    • Institute in preparation of Service Personnel at the National Law Academy of Yaroslav the Wise.
    • Others
  • State Archives of SBU

Restructuring[edit | edit source]

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.

On November 7, 2005 the President of Ukraine created the Ukraine State Service of special communications and protection of information, also known as Derzhspetszvyazok (StateSpecCom) in place of one of the departments of SBU and making it an autonomous agency.

The SBU subsumed the Directorate of State 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.

File:Flag of the Security Service of Ukraine.png

Flag of SBU

Directors of The SBU[edit | edit source]

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) that were officially titled Provincial Extraordinary Commissions for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage and were generally known as the Kiev Cheka, Kharkov Cheka, Odessa Cheka, etc. and were associated with the Red Terror.

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, but was later reorganised during World War II and the death of Stalin.

Ministry of State Security of UkrSSR[edit | edit source]

KGB of UkrSSR Council of Ministers[edit | edit source]

SBU (Security Service of Ukraine)[edit | edit source]

SBU's transgression of the law[edit | edit source]

File:SBU Headquarters.jpg

33 Volodymyrska Street, SBU Headquarters in Kiev

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 an 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]

Protest group FEMEN has claimed that after the early 2010 election of President Viktor Yanukovych the SBU has attempted to intimidate the FEMEN activists.[12]

On May 22, 2012 Volodymyr Rokytskyi, Deputy Head of the SBU, was photographed in public wearing a $32 000 luxury wristwatch despite the fact that its price amounts to his yearly official income. The instance happened at a joint Ukrainian-American event dedicated to fighting drug trade.[13]

SBU and Khoroshkovskiy[edit | edit source]

Article of Konrad Shuller on July 19, 2010[14][15]

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 Nico 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 Herman 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:

All my experience until now indicates that I am a patriot... I see through economic intrigues, crime, know methods of money laundering, banks that illegally exchange currency... My knowledge is much wider than most of those who work here.

When Minister of Finance Fedir Yaroshenko resigned on January 18, 2012 he was replaced by Khoroshkovsky as the new Minister of Finance the same day.[3]

Series of SBU shady practices under Yanukovych presidency[edit | edit source]

Vitaliy Nikitin; Head of Derzhkomrezerv[16] (acting)

February 1, 2011 Vitaliy Nikitin was arrested by a court's decision initiated by SBU. He is blamed for stealing 243 millions in 2008–09 ($40.5 million).

Rosava, Finances and credit

July 11, 2011 the masked agents of SBU without any order visited both Rosava and Finances and credit and confiscated several documents. The reason for their acts was never explained.

Vasyl Volha; Head of the State Commission in regulation of a finance services market

July 19, 2011 the General Procuror along with SBU arrested Volha for corruption. Few days before that the General Procuror arrested his couple of deputies, one of them the manager of legal support department.


July 27, 2011 searched managers of Ukrhazbank which just received refinancing from the National Bank of Ukraine – officially due to the fact that the money were stolen.


September 7, 2011 SBU conducted search in a construction supermarket Epicenter in Kiev. The motives are unclear.

Volodymyr Halytskyi; Head of State Service of Employment

November 27, 2011 SBU arrested Halytskyi when after a search were found $7.5 millions. Through January 2012 there still is no court decision.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:National Intelligence Agencies Template:Ukraine topics

Template:Law enforcement in Ukraine

cs:Služba bezpečnosti Ukrajiny de:Sluschba bespeky Ukrajiny fr:Service de sécurité d'Ukraine he:שירות הביטחון האוקראיני hu:Ukrán Biztonsági Szolgálat ja:ウクライナ保安庁 pl:Służba Bezpieczeństwa Ukrainy ru:Служба безопасности Украины uk:Служба безпеки України

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