Location Ukraine Ukraine

US intelligence services control Ukrainian telephone talks

On October 7 The New York Times has published an article “Schooled in Scandal: What Makes Ukraine a Hotbed of Intrigue” by Andrew Higgins and Andrew E.Kramer. The article gives breaking news: US intelligence services provided their satellites in Ukraine with special equipment for telephone spying. From its side Ukrainian state security is obliged to translated telephone intercepts from the new system and forward them to the Americans.

 

“Ukraine’s domestic intelligence service, or S.B.U., its powers of surveillance greatly enhanced by monitoring equipment provided by the United States after Mr. Yanukovych decamped to Russia, has added its own highly selective and distorted form of transparency by leaking information about alleged wrongdoing, often for political or financial gain.

Controlled by Mr. Poroshenko, the S.B.U. has become a tool in domestic political and business battles, with anti-corruption activists accusing it of working to undermine, not help, their cause.

While still politically influenced, Ukrainian law enforcement is no longer the swamp of incompetence and corruption it once was. It has been able to monitor Mr. Manafort’s former business associates and turn up evidence of Russian hacking in the 2016 United States election, in part owing to American technical support.

The Central Intelligence Agency tore out a Russian-provided cellphone surveillance system, and put in American-supplied computers, said Viktoria Gorbuz, a former head of a liaison office at the S.B.U. that worked with foreign governments.

Ms. Gorbuz’s department translated telephone intercepts from the new system and forwarded them to the Americans. “This team would translate and immediately, 24 hours a day, be in full cooperation with our American colleagues,” she said.

It is unclear whether any phone intercepts relevant to the election meddling investigation have gone to the American authorities. But a Ukrainian law enforcement official has given journalists partial phone records of former associates of Mr. Manafort.”

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