17 July 2022, 11:50 AM

Ukrainian law enforcers detain former Crimea SBU department chief

Law enforcement officers have arrested the former head of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Oleh Kulinich, reported Ukrainian news outlet Babel, citing the SBU, on July 16. He was fired from his post in March.  

The specific reasons for Kulinich’s arrest have not been given, but the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, citing sources in the security service, writes that Kulinich was served with a notice of suspicion under Art. 111 of the Criminal Code (high treason). He now faces up to 15 years in prison. The SBU noted that countering the special services of the Russian Federation and their attempts to expand their network of agents inside Ukrainian governmental structures  is one of the main activities of the law enforcement body. 

“SBU employees were also involved in such cases, which indicates a tendency towards self-purification of the Service,” the SBU press release regarding Kulinich’s arrest reads. 

“By exposing these situations, and not hiding them, we are implementing a course towards building a modern and efficient special service capable of counteracting a strong enemy that harms the state security of Ukraine.” 

The agency added that with regard to this case, they are ready to assist as much as possible and provide all necessary information for further investigation. Critics of the SBU have accused the agency of being widely penetrated by Russian agents prior to the full-scale invasion, and of stymying external reform efforts. 

Kulinich held the position of SBU head in Crimea from October 2020, when he was appointed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, until March 2, 2022.

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