Poroshenko calls on Ukrainian Security Service to investigate government officials with Russian relatives

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has asked Vasyl Hrytsak, head of the Ukrainian Security Service  (SBU), to have the counterintelligence department investigate civil servants to find out whether they have relatives with Russian citizenship.

The Ukrainian President announced this at a press conference on Sunday in Kyiv, when asked if the SBU had determined whether Serhiy Semochko, first deputy head of the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service, has Russian citizenship.

“We have a large number of civil servants, even in the law enforcement bodies, who have relatives in the Crimea. I have asked SBU head Vasyl Hrytsak to have Ukrainian counterintelligence look at the information on all civil servants, prioritizing the law enforcement and investigative organs,” Interfax-Ukraine cites Poroshenko as saying.

He emphasized that after the investigation has been completed, if there is reason to hold any civil servants accountable, even if it means firing them, he will take all the necessary steps.

Recently, SBU counterintelligence confirmed that the civilian wife of Serhiy Semochko, first deputy head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, has Russian citizenship.

On October 16, the SBU began an investigation into Semochko, who may face charges of high treason. The case was opened following a statement by the chairman of the public organization TOM 14 on October 4 that a journalist had uncovered facts which may link Semochko to Russia. SBU assumes that, as an Ukrainian official, Russia may have paid him in exchange for information.

In October, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau also opened a case against Semochko for acquiring wealth through illicit means.

Semochko himself denies that he gained his wealth illegally, and accuses journalists of a smear campaign. He also denies having used his relatives to acquire Russian citizenship.


  Ukraine, Poroshenko, Russia, SBU