Enemy special services are operating in the territory of Ukraine, which means that there is no proper counterintelligence regime in the country. Although the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) has the largest number of staff in Europe (excluding the Russian Federation), which considerably exceeds the number of special services personnel in the developed countries, is does not fulfill its counterintelligence tasks effectively, acting proactively and preventing threats.
This was demonstrated by the events which happened over the past few months – the murder of Oleksandr Kharaberiusha, head of the SSU counterintelligence department in Donetsk region, and the shooting of Denys Voronenkov, former Russian State Duma deputy who applied for a refugee status in Ukraine and testified against the crimes of the Russian authorities, in the center of Kyiv – and by the latest crime: an impudent murder of Colonel Maksym Shapoval, command officer of one of the military units of the main intelligence department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, whose unit has been successfully conducting combat missions in the ATO zone.
The experts of the Reanimation Package of Reforms are convinced that the inefficiency of the Security Service is caused by a flawed management system, when resources are often allocated to secondary tasks, while the key area – protection of state security – is neglected. Most SSU employees deal with the tasks which are not related to counterintelligence activities and do not typically belong to the duties of intelligence agencies of the democratic states.
According to the Coalition Agreement of the parliamentary majority, adoption of a new version of the Law of Ukraine “On the Security Service of Ukraine” is one of the priorities in the sphere of national security and defense, as it should strengthen the counterintelligence powers of the SSU.
Recommendation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe No. 1402 (99) sets the requirements and the restrictions for internal security services. In many aspects, the SSU does not meet the requirements of this recommendation. In its resolutions on Ukraine, PACE constantly draws attention to the necessity of reforming the SSU and bringing it in line with this recommendation, in particular, depriving it of the right to detain individuals and conduct pre-trial investigation.
Therefore, the Reanimation Package of Reforms calls on the President and the NSDC to take action to reform the Ukrainian security agencies, to approve, first of all, the Concept of SSU reform, and to initiate the necessary legislative amendments.
These changes should narrow down the range of tasks of the Security Service of Ukraine and optimize its structure accordingly. The SSU should be focused only on the counteraction to foreign security agencies and terrorism. Other tasks, in particular, those related to combating corruption and organized crime in the sphere of management and economy, as well as investigation of crimes, should be transferred to other law enforcement agencies, as it is in the European countries.
The RPR experts are ready to contribute to the development of a relevant regulatory framework or to facilitate the SSU reform in some other form.