The government dismissed the head of the State Special Service Shchyhol and his deputy

Oleksandra Opanasenko

The Cabinet of Ministers dismissed Yuriy Shchyhol from the position of the head of the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection and his deputy for digital development, digital transformations and digitization Viktor Zhora.

The representative of the Cabinet of Ministers in the Verkhovna Rada Taras Melnychuk reported that Dmytro Makovskyi was appointed to replace Shchyhol — he is a temporary acting responsibilities.

In the meantime, the specialized anti-corruption prosecutorʼs office informed Shchyhol and Zhora about the suspicion of illegal possession of 62 million hryvnias. Investigate embezzlement and appropriation of property (Part 5 of Article 191 of the Criminal Code). The sanction of the article provides up to 12 years of imprisonment with confiscation of property.

According to the investigation, a total of six people were involved in the scheme.

We are talking about the purchases of 2021, when the State Special Communications Service had to purchase information systems for the creation of a system of protected data registers and did so at an inflated cost. Then, according to the terms of the contracts, the state enterprise transferred more than 285 million hryvnias, when the real value was 223 million hryvnias — the difference was 62 million.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) clarified that Shchyhol and Zhora carried out the scheme together with the owner of an unnamed group of companies. For this, two controlled companies were involved, and the procurement was classified in order to prevent competitors from entering the open bidding and winning the contract. The State Special Communications Service concluded contracts with these companies and transferred more than UAH 285 million for software and related services. The difference of 62 million was transferred to the accounts of companies abroad and divided among the participants.

NABU published a scheme of embezzlement.

  • Yuriy Shchyhol became the head of the State Special Forces on July 8, 2020. Previously, since 2008, he served in military service in operational and managerial positions in SBU.
  • Shchygol was involved in the state program to provide Ukrainian soldiers with drones "Army of Drones", founded in July 2022 by the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the State Special Forces, the General Staff and the United24 project.
  • Dmytro Makovsky was appointed the temporary acting head of the State Special Intelligence Service.