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Ukraine sacks high cyber defence officers amid graft probe

Yurii Shchyhol, Head of the State Service of Particular Communication and Info Safety of Ukraine, speaks throughout an interview with Reuters, amid Russia’s assault on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine September 22, 2023. REUTERS/Ivan Lyubysh-Kirdey/File Picture Purchase Licensing Rights

KYIV, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Ukraine sacked two senior cyber defence officers on Monday, a authorities official stated, as prosecutors introduced a probe into alleged embezzlement within the authorities’s cyber safety company.

Yurii Shchyhol, head of the State Service of Particular Communications and Info Safety of Ukraine (SSSCIP), and his deputy, Viktor Zhora, had been dismissed by the federal government, senior cupboard official Taras Melnychuk wrote on Telegram.

Melnychuk, the cupboard’s consultant to parliament, didn’t point out the explanations for the dismissals. Shchyhol wrote on Fb that he was assured he may show his innocence, Interfax Ukraine reported. There was no quick remark from Zhora.

The SSSCIP is answerable for securing authorities communications and defending the state from cyber assaults.

Information of the firings got here lower than an hour earlier than anti-corruption prosecutors stated they had been investigating the pinnacle and deputy head of the SSSCIP over their alleged roles in a six-person plot to embezzle 62 million Ukrainian hryvnia ($1.72 million) between 2020 and 2022.

Authorities suspect the officers of shopping for software program at an inflated value from two firms allegedly beneath their management in a sale that had been closed to different bidders, Ukraine’s Nationwide Anti-Corruption Bureau stated.

In a press release on Telegram, the SSSCIP stated it was cooperating with investigators and that every one company procurement had been carried out legally.

Ukraine has stepped up efforts to curtail corruption because it pursues membership within the European Union, which has made the battle in opposition to graft a key prerequisite for negotiations to start.

Latest targets for investigation have included a billionaire former patron of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the ex-head of Ukraine’s Supreme Courtroom. Each have denied wrongdoing.

In September, Shchyhol instructed Reuters that Russian spies are utilizing hackers to focus on laptop programs at legislation enforcement businesses to establish and acquire proof associated to alleged Russian struggle crimes.

Reporting by Dan Peleschuk,
Modifying by Bernadette Baum, Ed Osmond and Andrew Heavens

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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