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Illia Vitiuk, the former chief of the cyber security department of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). (Ukrainian Security Service)
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Illia Vitiuk — the former cybersecurity chief of Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) who was suspended from his post following an investigation into his personal finances — was formally dismissed by a presidential decree issued on May 1.

The investigative outlet 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.

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 National Agency on Corruption Prevention reportedly began monitoring Vitiuk following the revelations.

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 in early April that it had opened a criminal investigation into possible abuse of office and obstruction of a journalist's professional activities by 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 the SBU's Department for Protection of National Statehood department.

President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed the head of this department, Roman Semenchenko, on Jan. 31.

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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