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“I personally spoke with the head of the SBU.” Zelenskyy demands to investigation of secret filming of journalists

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Ukraine’s SBU security service must launch an investigation into the covert video recording of independent journalists, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview with the UK Channel 4 on Jan. 20.

“Some say it was just a recording of media people and nothing happened,” he said.

“I think otherwise.”

Read also: Ukrainian journalist on price for exposing government corruption – interview

Following the incident, the President promptly summoned the head of the SBU, Vasyl Maliuk, to his office.

“A criminal case was opened immediately,” Zelenskyy said.

“I personally invited the head of the SBU and received details from the Prosecutor General.”

“We need to find answers to all this,” Zelenskyy said, indicating that the SBU will conduct an investigation to identify and hold the perpetrators accountable.

Read also: National Police launch criminal probe into Bihus.Info surveillance

The President had previously stated that any form of pressure on journalists is unacceptable, responding to the surveillance of journalists associated with the Bihus.Info project.

Bihus.Info journalists are renowned for their important investigations into the Ukrainian government and politicians.

A video surfaced online on Jan. 16 allegedly showing Bihus.Info staff using drugs. Bihus claimed that there had been illegal surveillance lasting about a year, with edited fragments from different times.

In another case, unknown individuals attempted to break into journalist Yuriy Nikolov’s Kyiv apartment. Nikolov had exposed inflated prices for Defense Ministry procurements, leading to the resignation of Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov and the parliament adopting a bill on transparent defense procurement. Nikolov’s mother was at home during the break-in attempt.

The SBU initiated a criminal case on Jan. 17 for illegal eavesdropping and video recording by the outlet’s employees. Law enforcement does not rule out violations of drug-related laws in the published materials.

The media outlet Narodna Pravda, which published an illicitly sourced surveillance video the Bihus.Info team, has removed the video and closed its YouTube channel on Jan. 19.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine