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Media: SBU investigating 8,000 cases of suspected treason

by Abbey Fenbert and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 14, 2023 12:52 AM 2 min read
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin meets with Volodymyr Saldo, Moscow's appointed head of occupied Kherson Oblast, in Moscow on Aug. 24, 2023. Saldo was convicted of treason by a Ukrainian court in absentia on Nov. 8, 2023. (Mikhail Klimentyev / Pool / AFP via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) has opened investigations into about 8,000 cases of suspected high treason since the start of the full-scale war, Ukrainian media outlet New Voice reported on Nov. 13, citing sources in the SBU.

The SBU told New Voice that it had initiated over 7,000 investigations into criminal proceedings related to Article 111-1 of the Criminal Code and nearly 1,000 under Article 111-2.

Both subsections of Article 111 deal with high treason. Crimes under Article 111-1 include espionage, acts that deliberately undermine Ukraine's sovereignty, and willingly aiding a foreign state in "subversive activities against Ukraine." The crime carries a penalty of 10 to 15 years in prison.

"Almost 2,900 people are involved in these cases," representatives from the SBU told New Voice.

"More than 2,000 proceedings against almost 2,100 people have been sent to court. The courts have already passed sentences on 330 collaborators. One of the latest is a 15-year prison sentence for Volodymyr Saldo, the governor of Kherson Oblast, who heads the local occupation authorities."

Saldo, a Russian-installed proxy, was convicted in absentia by an Odesa court on Nov. 8.

Article 111-2 stipulates that a Ukrainian citizen can be released from criminal liability if they did not act in accordance with a direct request from a foreign state and voluntarily reported their ties to the government.

The SBU told New Voice that it has investigated over 300 people under Article 111-2, and that almost 200 of those cases have been sent to court.

Prominent figures outside the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine have also been accused of collaboration. Lawmaker Oleksandr Dubinskyi was charged with treason on Nov. 13.

On the same day, Lviv's Lychakivskyi District Court sentenced pro-Russian former MP Illia Kyva, a pro-Russian former MP, to 14 years in prison in absentia for crimes related to treason.

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