OAN’s Brooke Mallory
6:37 PM – Monday, November 20, 2023
On Monday, Ukrainian prosecutors declared that they would be looking into allegations of fraud and theft inside the government’s cyber security agency, and soon after, two top cyber defense officials were fired, according to a government official who spoke to reporters.
Leading cabinet member Taras Melnychuk posted on Telegram, announcing that the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP) chief, Yurii Shchyhol, and his deputy, Viktor Zhora, were both fired from their government positions.
The cabinet’s delegate to parliament, Melnychuk, omitted to disclose the grounds behind the terminations. Protecting the state from cyberattacks and safeguarding government communications are the responsibilities of the SSSCIP.
Less than an hour had passed before anti-corruption prosecutors declared that they were looking into the head and deputy head of the SSSCIP for their suspected participation in a six-person scheme to steal 62 million UAH ($1.72 million) between 2020 and 2022. This was when news of the firings broke to the press.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine stated that authorities believe the officials purchased software at a premium price from two businesses that were allegedly under their control in a bid that was closed to outside bidders.
However, the SSSCIP claimed in a Telegram post that all agency purchases had been done properly and that it was working with investigators.
As the country seeks membership in the European Union (EU), Ukraine has increased its efforts to combat corruption, making this a crucial need before serious discussions can commence.
An unnamed billionaire who formerly supported President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the previous chairman of Ukraine’s Supreme Court have also both been the subject of investigations recently. However, each has refuted any misconduct. The billionaire’s identity was not disclosed to the press.
Shchyhol claimed in a Reuters article in September that “Russian spies are employing hackers to target law enforcement organizations’ computer systems” in order to find and gather information linked to suspected war crimes committed by Russia.
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