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Media: Corruption prevention agency begins monitoring SBU cybersecurity chief following media investigation

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 16, 2024 9:39 PM 2 min read
Illia Vitiuk, the chief of the cyber security department of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). (Ukrainian Security Service)
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The National Agency on Corruption Prevention began monitoring Illia Vitiuk, the suspended cybersecurity chief of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), following an investigation by Slidstvo.Info, the outlet reported on April 16, citing a statement from the agency.

Slidstvo.Info wrote on April 4 that Vitiuk's family had purchased real estate worth at least Hr 25.5 million (roughly $645,000) in market value. In particular, Vitiuk's wife reportedly started making big earnings after her husband was appointed to the job and bought an apartment in a premium residential complex in Kyiv below the market price.

The outlet said that its journalist who led the investigation, Yevhenii Shulhat, was later targeted by enlistment officers in retaliation. The officers were allegedly accompanied by an SBU officer from Vitiuk's department.

The SBU announced days later that Vitiuk had been suspended and sent to the front while the inquiry into Slidstvo.Info's revelations was underway.

The Prosecutor General's Office announced on April 8 that it had opened a criminal investigation into possible abuse of office and obstruction of a journalist's professional activities by the SBU employees and military enlistment officers following the incident.

This was only the latest incident in what the Ukrainian media view as mounting pressure against the press. In January, Bihus.Info published an investigation that revealed months of surveillance of its team by an SBU department.

Recent campaigns against journalists raise concerns about press freedom in Ukraine
Investigative journalists in Ukraine came under two attacks in just the past week, one involving a threatening home visit and another using covert surveillance. The two incidents are the latest in a series of discrediting campaigns against independent Ukrainian media, often supported by anonymous p…
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