Russia's FSB digging up dirt on Ukraine's intelligence chief / Photo from gur.mil.gov.ua

The Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) of Ukraine's Defense Ministry has intercepted a phone conversation between defectors, former officers of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine, who were discussing a possible act of information warfare against Ukraine.

In December, a GUR unit intercepted a phone call between two representatives of Russia's FSB Federal Security Service based in the Russia-occupied cities of Simferopol (Crimea) and Donetsk (Ukraine's east) during which they discussed the collection of information about the chief of the intelligence agency of Ukraine's Defense Ministry and its transfer to Russia's FSB department dealing with special and sabotage operations, the GUR's press service said.

The conversation features the FSB's efforts to dig up dirt on GUR Chief Kyrylo Budanov.

Read alsoKremlin prisoner Shumkov returns to Ukraine – OmbudspersonThe participants are former officers of the Crimean SBU's Directorate who have sworn in and joined Russia's FSB. One of them is Oleksandr Mykolaiovych Sklianko, born in 1973, the former head of the counterintelligence department for the protection of state interests in the field of information security of the Security Service of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The other is Mykola Serhiyovych Chernykh, born in 1978, the former deputy head of the counterintelligence department for the protection of state interests in the field of information security of the Security Service of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The latter, according to the GUR, at one time made a "special contribution" to documenting and suppressing "cyber crimes."

"Unfortunately, Ukraine has many examples of defection committed by former officers of Ukrainian special services. Military intelligence once again reminds them, as well as all Russian war criminals that the punishment for their crimes is inevitable," the GUR said.

The wiretap records (in Russian) are available here.

Kyrylo Budanov's short biography

  • On August 5, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appointed Budanov, 34, chief of the country's military intelligence. He replaced Vasyl Burba, who had been in office since 2016.
  • Since 2014, Budanov has participated in the Russian-Ukrainian war in Donbas, eastern Ukraine.
  • On August 6-7, 2016, he conducted a special operation in the town of Armyansk in Russia-occupied Crimea.
  • He survived an attempt on his life in April 2019, when a bomb planted in his Chevrolet Evanda car detonated prematurely.
  • He was awarded all three Orders for Courage.