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Former head of Ukrainian Security Service in Crimea to stand trial for high treason

Monday, 3 July 2023, 11:05
Former head of Ukrainian Security Service in Crimea to stand trial for high treason
DETAINED KULINICH. PHOTO BY SBI

Oleh Kulinich, the former head of the Main Directorate of the Security Service of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic (AR) of Crimea, is to stand trial.

Source: press services of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU)

Quote: "In April 2023, SBI officers concluded an investigation for criminal proceedings on high treason against Oleh Kulinich, Former Head of the SSU Main Directorate in the AR of Crimea.

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The defendant deliberately delayed familiarisation with the case file, so investigators were forced to apply to the court to limit the relevant time limits.

The case file has now been submitted to the court."

Details: Kulinich was arrested on 16 July 2022 during a special operation by the SBI and the SSU. He was served with a notice of suspicion of high treason and the establishment of a criminal organisation.

The court chose to remand the accused in custody as a preventive measure in Kulinich's case. He is still in custody to this day.

The SBI uncovered new facts and evidence of the SSU colonel's illegal activities and served him with a notice of suspicion of committing other criminal offences, namely:

being AWOL from duty, committed by a serviceman under martial law;

acquisition of military weapons and ammunition by an official with abuse of office by prior conspiracy by a group of persons under martial law;

unlawful possession of firearms without a permit, etc.

Ukrainian law enforcement agencies established that Oleh Kulinich was involved in covert cooperation with the Russian Federal Security Service and received the operational nickname Kotyhoroshko.

Following the instructions of the Russian FSB, former Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) Deputy Secretary Volodymyr Sivkovych (a former KGB officer) and former head of the Ukrainian President’s Office Andrii Kliuiev, who have been hiding from justice in Moscow since 2014, established a so-called "political office" to monitor the activities of influential Ukrainian politicians, senior officials and law enforcement officers, and to seek out agents of influence in their midst to control political processes in Ukrainian society.

The SBI served a notice of suspicion of high treason on Volodymyr Sivkovych and three Russian FSB officers on espionage charges in July 2022.

As established, Sivkovych, through his proxies, controls various companies and entities in Ukraine that are used as a cover for the activities of criminal organisation members and finance their facilitators.

The investigation also established that Kulinich was a confidant of Sivkovych. He actively cooperated with the FSB's "political office". He followed the instructions of his supervisors to infiltrate "his people" into various state and law enforcement agencies, conduct intelligence and subversive activities against Ukraine, engage in espionage, and incite Ukrainian citizens to commit treason.

The investigation found that Kulinich had prior knowledge of the plans of the Russian Armed Forces to attack mainland Ukraine from the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea but deliberately concealed this crucial information from his superiors and forbade them to send any documentation on this matter to the Central Office of the SSU.

He deliberately blocked any attempts to inform the SSU leadership and the public about the actual situation in the area in the first hours of the invasion, failed to take any measures to protect state sovereignty, ordered the personnel to leave the place of service, and later issued service weapons to people who were not part of the SSU.

Moreover, the official left the place where he was permanently stationed and left for Kyiv on 24 February. Investigators found a stash of weapons and his documents from his time in the KGB in one of the apartments where Kulinich lived.

Background:

Oleh Kulinich was appointed Head of the SSU Main Directorate in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in October 2020.

Zelenskyy fired him from this post in March 2022.

Ukrainian security forces arrested Kulinich in July 2022. The investigation and detention of Kulinich was personally supervised by Vasyl Maliuk, the head of the SSU. 

In April 2013, law enforcement officers made public intercepts from  conversations between former SSU officer Kulinich and former NSDC Secretary Volodymyr Sivkovych.

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