Ukrainian investigative reporters spied on

It has emerged that the Ukrainian state security service, the SBU, spied on employees of the well-known whistleblowing platform - at their New Year's party and presumably elsewhere too. An SBU department head has been dismissed as a result of the scandal. The security service has defended its actions and accused individual members of the editorial team of illegally purchasing and consuming drugs. A lame explanation, commentators write.

Open/close all quotes
Valerii Pekar (UA) /

Security services not the root of the evil

The SBU most certainly did not act on its own initiative, journalist Valerii Pekar stresses on his Facebook page:

“I am sure that the SBU leadership is not having journalists spied on of its own initiative, because it has other things to do. ... Only politicians are interested in monitoring journalists, no one else. The energy of civil society should be focused on finding those who ordered the surveillance, not on punishing the perpetrators. Otherwise this shameful practice will continue. ... The roots of the evil do not lie in the security agencies - these are merely branches growing from the root. The root of evil lies in the politicians' tendency towards authoritarianism and their disregard for democracy.” (UA) /

Harming the country's image calls for consequences for the head of the SBU security service:

“This is a disgrace that not only highlights the pressure under which investigative journalists are forced to work and shows that many SBU employees, whose salaries are paid with Ukrainians' taxes, are involved in who knows what, but also causes enormous damage to Ukraine internationally. And this at a time when any help from our allies is so important to us. ... If something like this had happened in a country of the European Union, the head of the authority whose staff was implicated would resign immediately. ... But we can already see that the current head of the SBU, Vasyl Malyuk, is incapable of doing this.”