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Ukraine's Security Service seizes hard drives containing covert recordings of Bihus.Info team

Wednesday, 17 January 2024, 23:17
Ukraine's Security Service seizes hard drives containing covert recordings of Bihus.Info team
Photo: Depositphotos

Representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) have searched the out-of-town complex where members of the Bihus.Info team were secretly filmed and seized hard drives containing CCTV footage.

Source: Bihus.Info journalists

Quote: "When the journalists arrived at the scene, the investigative actions relating to the video media had already been completed, and the hard drives and the recorder themselves had been seized. The SSU representative said in his comment that he could not provide an opportunity to make copies because, he said, the hard drives ‘have already been seized and packed in a security bag’. At the same time, he advised the journalists to apply to the SSU for copies the next day."


Details: According to Bihus.Info, the search was carried out within the framework of criminal proceedings that have been opened under Article 359 of the Criminal Code (illegal acquisition, sale or use of special technical means of obtaining information) with respect to the publication of covert recordings and phone tapping of Bihus.Info team members.

The SSU opened the proceedings on its own initiative. Representatives of Bihus.Info have filed applications to the National Police in order to open criminal proceedings under other articles. The National Police has not yet registered its own proceedings.

The journalists said Yaroslav Yurchyshyn MP, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliamentary) Committee on Freedom of Speech, had requested yesterday that the SSU investigate the surveillance of the journalists.


  • On 16 January, a video was leaked online showing employees of the Bihus.Info investigative project apparently using drugs. The project's head, Denys Bihus, recorded a video message giving explanations and stated that everyone who works with Bihus.Info would take drug tests.  
  • Later, Bihus said that after talking to the people involved in the video, it transpired that members of the Bihus.Info editorial team had been under surveillance for about a year, and that fragments of intercepted conversations had been edited together from several episodes that were months apart.
  • The Ukrainian Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Speech has promised to formulate a request to the SSU to investigate who was involved in the surveillance of Bihus.Info journalists.
  • On 17 January, the SSU stated that it would be investigating the circumstances of the illegal bugging and filming of Bihus.Info staff.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he had held a meeting with law enforcement officials, including Vasyl Maliuk, Head of the SSU, to discuss the surveillance of investigative journalists working for Bihus.Info which was reported yesterday.

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