Russian «moles» in the State Security Service of Ukraine: what is missing in the Kulinich-Sivkovych’ case?

Oleg Kulinych and Volodymyr Sivkovych. photo: and UNIAN

Any Ukrainian state traitor has been the corrupted public official.

Any Russian «governor» on Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia – Saldo, Buluk or Balytsky, Konstantinov or Aksyonov – has rich corruption biography where business is covered by politics.

Any Ukrainian «under the carpet» fighting over shadow revenues involves «Ukrainian patriots» who are used to accuse their competitors of collaborating with the Russian enemy.

Any journalist investigation of the Ukrainian corruption uncovers bloody mixture of everything mentioned above.

The phrase «corruption kills» is not metaphor in Ukraine anymore as emphasizes Valentyna Samar, the chief editor of the Center for Journalist Investigations, in her article for ZN.UA.

Each stolen hryvnia could have rescued the life of Ukrainian soldier. Each Ukrainian public official, who stole one thousand hryvnia without punishment, will steal one million tomorrow. Each Ukrainian corrupted politician, governmental official or state security serviceman is an easy target for the Russian special services. He is potential ally of the enemy even if he has not been yet recruited and sleeps in Ukrainian vyshyvanka. Corrupted officials and politicians will accept «gifts» from the enemy and readily open Ukrainian gates.

Controversial story of Russian «moles» in the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) demonstrates the weakness of Ukrainian «security gates». It showed that it has been very easy to create the network of Russian «moles» and spies and plant them very close to the President, in the Ukrainian special services headed by the presidential friend from the childhood and business partner.

«Successful story» of uncovering the Russian network of «moles» is the clear indicator of the deeply faulted human resources policy of the President and the head of his Office. It provides evidence that political corruption (manupilation with the law and procedures to redistribute resources within closed circle of people) leads to the state traison. At the same time, this story disclosed by the Ukrainian State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) seems to be a part of the wider picture from which key players were deliberately taken out by the Bureau itself. 

Sivkovych, Kulinich and «unidentified persons»

The Bureau reported about completing pre-trial investigation of the case of Oleg Kulinich, suspected of state treason former Head of the Main Department of the SBU in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on April 5, 2023. He was detained in July 2022, four months after his dismissal from his position in the SBU. However, he has not been dismissed from the SBU by the day of detainment as he continued serving as the officer for special tasks under Ivan Bakanov, the Head of the SBU!

Detainment of Oleg Kulinych by the SBI, 16.07.2022, photo:

The Bureau’s report has been very loud. It contained headlines about new evidence of Kulinich’s cooperation with the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) and wiretapping of his conversations with Volodymyr Sivkovych, ex-Deputy Secretary of the National Defense and Security Council of Ukraine under President Yanukovych. The Bureau believes that Sivkovych has been the head of the network of FSB agents in Ukraine.

However, recent Bureau’s news contained nothing new. All facts have been already reported in the notice about suspicion of state treason to Sivkovych from July 2022. Text of suspicion was published on the website of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine. The suspicion reported about «Moscow political office of Kluev-Sivkovych» managed by Igor Chumakov and Aleksandr Chulindin, the head and officer of the 9th «Ukrainian» division of the Department of operational information of the 5th service of FSB, respectively; about Marina Terentjeva, political coordinator from FSB working under the cover of photo journalist of ITAR-TASS; about the role of Kulinich in the criminal organization and about wiretapping of conversations between Kulinich and Sivkovych (demonstrated by the Bureau in April 2023).

We will focus on unknown facts and will be based on documents (notices of suspicion, court decisions, decrees of the President of Ukraine etc.), anonymous testimonies of our sources and the response of the SBI to the information request from ZN.UA. We will raise questions, still hanging without answers from official investigation or from President Zelensky.

Kulinich is mentioned 45 times in the notice of suspicion to Sivkovych. It seems that «suspicion» and indictment are almost identical. Evidence submitted by SBI is also almost identical in investigations of Kulinich’ or Sivkovych’s cases.

Sivkovych’s notice of suspicion contains four records of his conversations with Kulinich. They are dated from June 2 and October 26, 2019 and from January 8 and May 19, 2020.

The record published by the SBU is dated from January 8, 2020. As this wiretapping demonstrates, Sivkovych put the following tasks before Kulinich:
– To appoint agent «Hunter» as the First Deputy Head of SBU
– To take under control the Department of Counter-Intelligence of SBU
– To set up analytical groups in the Department of Information and Analytical Support as well as in the Main Department of Internal Security of SBU

Besides that, Sivkovych asked Kulinich to reach the following results:

– To establish control over the 5th division of the Department of Counter-Intelligence of THE SBU
– To «fulfill the plan» and appoint «his person» in the Human Resources Division of the SBU, in order to change the Head of the National Academy of SBU; and to influence the senior management of SBU about approval of necessary decisions
– To introduce person named «Yevhen» into the SBU and get positive results of special examination of this person stipulated by the Ukrainian legislation for any candidates to the governmental positions (it is mentioned in the wiretapping that Kulinich had «trustful relations» with «Yevhen»)

Volodymyr Sivkovych, photo: UNIAN

It should be emphasized that this conversation occurred on January 8, 2020 whereas Kulinich was appointed by the decree of President Zelensky as the Head of Crimean Department of SBU later – on October 21, 2020. That is to say, all recorded conversations were held between Sivkovych and Kulinich before the appointment of Colonel Kulinich (nickname «Kotygroshko») to General’s position in the Crimean Department of SBU!

How he could receive state secrets from senior officials of SBU and collect information about operational activity of SBU?! How close to SBU senior officials he has been if he has been able to assist FSB with appointing «necessary» people and adopting «needed» decisions within the system of SBU?

The investigation of SBI does not give answers to these questions. We have to look for them on our own…

As sources of ZN.UA reported, Kulinich resumed his military service and took the position of the Head of Main Department of SBU in Crimea on the same date, without going through special examination. Examination procedure usually takes quite a long time.  It is likely that its results were registered post factum.

The State Register of asset declarations of public officials does not have the asset declaration of Kulinich as the candidate for the public office. The Law of Ukraine «On Prevention of Corruption» requires that all candidates must submit their asset declarations to the State Register. Kulinich should have also submitted his declaration for the special examination. 

This Register has been administered by the National Agency on Prevention of Corruption (NAZK). In 2021, the Crimean Center for Journalist Investigations informed NAZK about absence of candidate Kulinich’s declaration and discrepancies between his previous declarations and declaration of his wife. NAZK promised to conduct full inspection of Kulinich’s declaration for 2020 but did not provide any further information about results of inspection.

Oleg Mukolayovych Kulinich graduated from the Academy of the Russian FSB in 1994 (this Academy has been called the High School of KGB named after Dzerzhynksy before 1992). It is alarming that it happened after Ukraine has become an independent state. More to that, Kulinich served in the Federal Counter-Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation (since April 1995 it has been called Counter-Intelligence Service of FSB). He could not serve there without receiving the Russian citizenship! These three facts should have made impossible for Kulinich to enter the SBU, not to mention its Department supervising Crimea occupied by Russia.

Besides that, the Ukrainian career of Kulinich has been connected with Andrii Derkach, the agent of the Russian intelligence, and surrounded by corruption scandals.

Kulinich studied in the Academy of the Russian FSB together with Andrii Derkach. Leonid Derkach, the father of Andrii, has been the First Deputy Head and then the Head of SBU in 1990s. After his service for the Russian Counter-Intelligence, Oleg Kulinich joined the SBU when it has been headed by Leonid Derkach.

In 2000s Kulinich switched to governmental bodies supervising the energy sector. He has been an advisor to the Minister of Energy and Fuel and Vice Prime Minister supervising energy sector. In 2006, he has been dismissed from the SBU. He has been appointed as the Vice President of National Joint Stock Company «Energoatom» when the company has been headed by Andrii Derkach. At that period, he has been accused of embezzling 150 million hryvnias. An investigation has not been finalized.

Andrii Derkach, member of the Ukrainian parliament, photo:

In 2007, Kulinich was appointed as the Head of the State Committee on Land Resources within the government of Yulia Tymoshenko. This position has been the governmental «quota» of parliamentary faction of «Block of Lytvyn». Kulinich’s appointment was lobbied by Andrii Derkach.

As an outcome, Andrii Derkach, the member of the Ukrainian parliament at that time, received 42 hectares in Koncha Zaspa landscape reserve. Land plots were registered on assistants of Andrii Derkach and their relatives.

After journalist investigation of Bihus.Info of this case, the SBI initiated criminal investigation but it did not have any impact on further career of Kulinich in the SBU.

In September 2020, the US imposed sanctions on Andrii Derkach for his attempts to intervene into the US presidential elections. The US authorities called him a Russian agent connected with Russian intelligence services for more than ten years.

It should have made impossible any further career of Kulinich in the SBU! But it has not.

On the opposite, in October 2020, Ivan Bakanov, then the Head of SBU, received an approval from President Zelensky to appoint Oleg Kulinich to the Crimean Department of the SBU! Let us emphasize – President Zelensky promoted Kulinich, closely connected with Russian agent Derkach, immediately after Derkach was sanctioned by the US government!

Why an investigation of the Ukrainian State Bureau of Investigations does not mention Derkach? It can be explained by the fact that Andrii Derkach is accused in Ukraine of collaborating with the Russian Main Intelligence Department of the Staff Headquarters (its usual abbreviation is GRU), not with FSB.

In June 2022, the SBU reported that it uncovered the network of GRU agents in Ukraine. It detained Igor Kolesnikov, former assistant of lawmaker Andrii Derkach. As Russian agent, he had the call sign «Veteran». He concluded plea bargain with SBU and testified that Derkach set up a network of security companies throughout the country. They were expected to meet and help Russian occupants.

The Russian intelligence allocated money for the network. They were «converted into cash» by convertation centers in Kyiv. Kolesnikov collected cash and gave its portion to Derkach.

Certainly, Derkach did not disclose them, though, as the member of Ukrainian parliament, he must have disclosed all his revenues in his asset declarations. Thus, Derkach has been accused of illegal enrichment. This case has been investigated by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU).

There is no doubt that decision of Bakanov-Zelensky to appoint Kulinich has been perceived as the brazen challenge for the US authorities.

In August 2021, the National Defense and Security Council of Ukraine imposed sanctions on Andrii Derkach but Kulinich continued to manage the Crimean Department of SBU and remained very close to Ivan Bakanov, the Head of SBU. It had dangerous outcomes. Let us look at the information uncovered by wiretapping of conversations between Sivkovych and Kulinich.

They mentioned the need to appoint Russian agent Naumov, presumed call sign «Hunter» and the Head of Department of Internal Security of SBU, to the position of the First Deputy Head of SBU. They failed to do it.

But the wiretapping mentions another agent with the name «Yevhen» and the need to appoint him in the SBU. Has this plan been realized? Who received the position within SBU Division of Human Resources? Did FSB succeeded in appointing the new Head of the Academy of SBU? The State Bureau of Investigations says nothing about it.

Then, Kulinich said that he controlled the 5th division of the Department of Countrer-Intelligence of SBU. In 2021, its former head Oleksandr Poklad was promoted to the position of the Head of the Department of Counter-Intelligence. Has his appointment been «influenced» by Kulinich?!

The SBU and SBI were proud to report about uncovering the network of FSB agents under the supervision of Sivkovych. Kulinich could not be the only one agent of this network. But SBU and SBI said nothing about other members of this network.

One negative outcome of Kulinich’s appointment is crystal clear. Oleg Kulinich has succeeded in ruining the Crimean Department of SBU within few months. Before his appointment, the Department has been among the most effective units of SBU.

Kherson, the building of the Crimean Department, photo:

Its personnel developed methodology to investigate war crimes in occupied Sevastopol and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea though they were not able to visit and interrogate people on occupied territories. Here are some examples of their cases:
– The case of Kyrylo Vyshynsky, organizer of the network of Russian propagandists and undercover agents in Ukraine
– Investigation of Crimean collaborators and traitors – ministers, deputies, personnel of law enforcement bodies, detained on the territory of Ukraine – and submission of their cases to the court
– Court arrests of almost 270 air planes and 260 ships which violated the closed regime of Crimean ports or Crimean sanctions

Investigators of the SBU, the National Police of Ukraine, and the Prosecutor’s Office of Crimea uncovered over one hundred war crimes of the Russian Federation. They were further submitted by the General Prosecutor’s Office to the International Criminal Court.

Yevhen Netuzhylov, the Head of Crimean Department before Kulinich, has been transferred after dismissal to Chernihiv where his unique «Crimean» skills and knowledge have been useless.

Three months after the appointment of Kulinich, legal address of the Crimean Department of SBU has been changed from Kherson to Kyiv. The phrase «with statitioning in Kherson» was removed from the legal name of the Department. Relocation has not been provided with necessary resources. Personnel did not receive the accommodation in the Ukrainian capital. They did not want to work with Kulinich and transferred to SBU units in Mykolaiv, Odesa and other cities.

«The Crimean Department of SBU did everything not related to Crimea. There were more non-Crimean cases than Crimean. Some cases were not under our investigative jurisdiction at all. People fled from the Department. Only around 20 out of 50 people remained. Investigation of «Crimean cases» was stopped. Counter-intelligence work was cancelled. Consideration of cases in courts was frozen. It has not been the outcome of «simply mistaken decisions» because Kulinich knows how to work in SBU. It has been purposeful destruction of the Crimean Department under the pretext of reforms and reorganization», as former SBU officers report.

Did senior management of SBU know about actions of Kulinich? Yes, of course. We were told that Kulinich launched «antiterrorist training» under the support of SBU top management near the border of Crimea. He did not inform and did not get the permission of the countrywide Anti-Terrorist Center. As an outcome, the Ukrainian Army perceived this «training» as the Russian invasion and was close to mobilize its Air Forces…

What is the role of Bakanov, the Head of SBU, in the case of Kulinich?

The SBI’s public presentation of Kulinich’s case included weird conclusions like:

On May 3, 2019, by assignment of Russian FSB, Oleg Kulinich has been introduced into the close circle near the Head of the State Security Service of Ukraine

Who introduced Kulinich? Who were within this «close circle»?

The SBI does not give any answers to these questions. We hope very much to hear them during court hearings of the case.

Investigative journalists drew attention to two factors which could have helped Kulinich becoming the «favorite» of Bakanov and enjoying support of the Office of the President.

The first factor is about the lawsuit of Derkach submitted to the District Administrative Court in March 2019. Derkach required the name list of parliamentary coalition. The absence of the coalition is the legal reason for dissolving the Verkhovna Rada of Ukrine. The lawsuit has been satisfied by the court. It opened the opportunity for President Zelensky to conduct extra-ordinary parliamentary elections and to get his majority in the new parliament.

The second factor is about visit of Ivan Bakanov to the USA in April 2019. It has been organized and promoted by lobbying company. Its expenses were allegedly covered by Volodymyr Sivkovych and ex-Vice-Prime-Minister Sergii Arbuzov under President Yanukovych. Arbuzov fled from Ukraine after the Revolution of Dignity in 2014.

In both cases, appointment of Kulinich seems to be «the payment» for these «services» of Derkach and Sivkovych.

There could have been the third factor. As our sources in SBU reported, Derkach personally recommended Kulinich to Bakanov. Derkach and Bakanov knew each other and were close before Zelensky’s Presidency. Ivan Bakanov has been parioshioner of the Sviato-Vvedensky monastery of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and ardent supporter of the specific status of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine. Andrii Derkach has been also known as the supporter and promoter of Moscow Patriarchate.

The State Bureau of Investigations reported that «it did not find signs of criminal abuses» in the actions of ex-Head of SBU Ivan Bakanov. More to that, Bakanov does not have a status of witness in the case of Kulinich! It is shocking as Kulinich has been appointed by Zelensky’s decree upon submission of Bakanov, in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation.

Ivan Bakanov, the Head of the State Security Service of Ukraine (29.08.2019 – 19.07.2022). Photo: UNIAN

Thus, the SBI does not consider Bakanov to be responsible for the network of FSB agents who have worked in the SBU from 2019 till July 2022.

It means that Zelensky bears political responsibility for the outrageous failure of the Ukrainian State Security Service. Zelensky’s HR policy allowed Russian agents, inherited from previous presidents, to continue functioning and the new agents to infiltrate key Ukrainian security services.

Case of Kulinich is not an exception. It is an inevitable outcome of Zelensky’s policy. His close friend Bakanov did not have the right to become the Head of SBU because his qualification did not meet respective legislative requirements for this position. As a result of this legally dubious appointment, Bakanov received the power to appoint his business partners, corruptioners and shadow leaders of smuggling schemes. Andrii Naumov has been among them.

Naumov is not «Hunter»?

Circumstances of the appointment of Andrii Naumov into SBU by Ivan Bakanov are remarkable example of the personnel policy of the current Ukrainian authorities.

Until 2017, Andrii Naumov has worked in the General Prosecutor’s Office in Ukraine and supervised material and technical supplies. Then, he was appointed to manage state owned enterprise supervising the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. His experience and qualifications did not meet requirements to head the Department of Internal Security of SBU. Here is chronology of further events:

27.05.2019 – Ivan Bakanov started performing duties of the Head of SBU (previous Head Vasyl Hrytsak took a leave)

28.05.2019 – Andrii Naumov submitted to the acting Head of SBU an application about his employment into the SBU as an officer and gave his consent for special examination

04.06.2019 — The contract with Andrii Naumov was concluded

14.10.2020 – President of Ukraine Zelensky promoted Colonel Naumov to the rank of Brigade General

The notice of suspicion about state treason of Volodymyr Sivkovych indicates that Sivkovych and Kulinich used nicknames \ call signs instead of surnames. The notice disclosed only the following name. «Hunter» is Andrii Naumov, the Head of the Department of Internal Security of Ukraine. As the SBI stated, FSB through Sivkovych and Kulinich lobbied him for the positon of the First Deputy Head of SBU, in order to take under control the Department of Counter-Intellgience.

Possibilities and informal powers of Nuamov exceeded those stipulated by the law. Or, in other words, he purposefully expanded them. His Department has been reorganized into the Main Department, with exclusive powers.

«Naumov’s people» were appointed as heads of anti-smuggling units in the central office of SBU and its territorial departments. Smuggling has had an outstanding importance for the Ukrainian economy and politics. Naumov has been de facto person # 1 in the SBU. He has been involved in any important processes within the Service. He solved issues which deputies of the Head of SBU could solve. Ivan Bakanov, the Head of SBU, gave such discretion to Naumov by his personal decision», as wrote General Viktor Trepak after the Naumov’s dismissal in July 2021.

Why did Naumov need the position of the First Deputy Head of SBU if he has been de facto person # 1 in the SBU? For what purposes? He had close relations with Bakanov and could do anything he wanted.

There are grounded doubts that Naumov has been Russian agent «Hunter».

Neither suspicion of Sivkovych nor pre-trial investigation of Kulinich’s case indicate that Naumov performed assignments of FSB. Journalist investigation of «Schemes» project uncovered possible corruption of Naumov. He had luxury estate, apartments and cars, not meeting his salary received from the SBU.

Andrii Naumov, ex-Head of the Department of Internal Security of SBU, photo: RFE\RL

In July 2021, Naumov has been dismissed by President Zelensky and left the country without any problems. It happened one year before the network of «political office Kluev-Sivkovych» was uncovered.

On June 2022, he has been detained at the border in southern Serbia and arrested, under the suspicion of money laundering. He carried undeclared cash and diamonds. He was accompanied by Aleksandr Akst, member of the sanction list of smugglers compiled by the National Defense and Security Council of Ukraine. Naumov was supposed to uncover the smuggling activity of Akst when he worked in the SBU under Ivan Bakanov.

If FSB «Hunter» is Naumov, as SBI announced within its case of Kulinich-Sivkovych, then, he should have served with the suspicion of state treason.

ZN.UA asked the State Bureau of Investigations of Ukraine to give official information about suspicions of Naumov. In accordance with the SBI’s answer, Naumov has two suspicions. Both are related to his activity as the director of state owned company supervising the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone.

The first suspicion is about «economically unprofitable agreement» signed by Naumov in 2018. Alleged losses are 370.8 thousand UAH.  It is also about groundless bonuses Naumov allocated himself (460.7 thousand UAH).

On September 14, 2022, the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine submitted extradition request about Naumov to the Ministry of Justice of Serbia.

The second suspicion is about embezzlement of 3.2 million UAH. In 2019, Naumov received two salaries simultenously: as the head of compay supervising Chornobyl Exclusion Zone and the SBU officer.

In October 2022, Naumov has been declared wanted and respective extradition request has been submitted to Serbia.

Does Naumov have the suspicion of the state treason? No, he does not, as the SBI reports. The SBI’s statement is the following: «It is being examined whether A.O.Naumov collected confidential information about object supervised by the state owned company [Chornobyl Exclusion Zone] and transferred it to the representative of the intelligence services of foreign country, in order to make aggression against Ukraine».

Thus, there are two suspicions of Naumov and two extradition requests to Serbia and there is no suspicion about state treason.

On the other hand, law enforcement bodies initiated his public accusation as FSB agent within SBU. What does it look like?

It looks like a signal to Naumov to stay in Serbia and keep silence. He should «cover up» involvement of Bakanov. And he should not create problems for the new «redistribution of shadow customs revenues». 

Andrii Naumov (at the center) at the hearing of the High Court of Nysh City (Serbia) of the case about presumed money laundering, 06.04.2023, photo: RFE\RL

Let us assume that «Hunter» is not Naumov. There are two potential «candidates» discussed in the social media. The first one is Pavlo Kravchenko (nickname «Pavlo KPSS»), former Deputy Head of the Department «K» of SBU. It is reported that he is an ardent hunter, «expert» in smuggling schemes and old partner of Sivkovych.

In accordance with our sources, Oleg Kulinich and Volodymyr Gorbenko, former Deputy Head of SBU, were close friends. They liked to spend their time and hunt together at premises of Vitalii Buluk, ex-officer at customs. After the Russian occupation of Kherson, he became the deputy of Saldo, Russian «governor» of Kherson region.

Gorbenko has been interrogated two times by the SBI, in accordance with sources of ZN.UA. However, he has not been mentioned in the materials of the SBI investigation. Perhaps, the SBI did not find evidence of his participation in the network of FSB agents.

Volodymyr Gorbenko, Deputy Head of SBU (08.11.2019 – 19.07.2022), photo: RFE\RL

Thus, none of potential «candidates» attained the goal, set by Sivkovych, and reached the position of the First Deputy of Head of SBU. Though, it has been the goal set for 2020…

There is another question. Why there are only four records of conversations between Kulinich and Sivkovych? They cover long period of time, almost one year. Why did they end on May 2020? We can assume that the network of FSB agents would mobilize its efforts on the eve of the Russian invasion. Then, SBU and SBI would be able to wiretap more conversations. No records were made or there were no conversations?

What is the origin of wiretapping?

In October 2022, Vasyl Maluk, the Head of SBU, said to Interfax-Ukraine about Kulinich’s case the following: «We succeeded in conducting unprecedented penetration into the work of FSB. We received all files when Kulinich reported to Moscow secret information about situation in our country, in the SBU, about their efforts to influence various processes».

Four records of conversations of Sivkovych only with Kulinich for one year and a half – they do not seem to be «unprecedented penetration».

It might be that SBU-SBI does not disclose all records for the following reasons: the secrecy of investigation (in this case, we will hear other records during court hearings); records contain information with restricted access; records contain information about illegal activity of Ukrainian heads of special services, law enforcement bodies, the Office of the President of Ukraine etc.

It is also feasible that current records were disclosed with the aim to discredit Bakanov before his friend Zelensky and achieve Bakanov’s dismissal.

Who made the interception and wiretapping?

Suspicion for Sivkovych says about his phone talks with Kulinich. The SBI talked about the interception of messenger Threema. It has been very popular among Russian law enforcement bodies after 2014. It has been perceived as very protected. In 2017, the Russian Surveillance Service allowed the use of Swiss Threema in Russia. It means that owners of Threema agreed to collect and store information about users (including lists of contacts, letters etc.) and transfer it to Russian governmental authorities upon their request. It does not look like «protected messenger».

Majority of sources of ZN.UA, who work in security and defense sector, believe that Ukrainian special services did not wiretap conversations as they were not able to hack Threema. Wiretapping can have two sources. Western partners could intercept and then transfer records to Ukraine.

Second, Ukrainian law enforcement bodies could find records in smart phones or flash cards when they did the search.

There might be other sources, too. As the SBI reported, Marina Terentieva, «political coordinator» of Kluev-Sivkovych office in Moscow, collected, analyzed and transferred information from FSB agents. She maintained communication, recorded and transcribed all conversations and transferred them to the 9th division of the 5th service of the FSB.

Besides that, Sivkovych and Kulinich could also record their conversations. Thus, there might have been several sources of records and their storage. It could facilitate their receipt for Ukrainian intelligence services…

Our respondents from the Ukrainian security sector doubt that Sivkovych played the role of the supervisor of the network of FSB agents. To their mind, his professional and personal capabilities are inadequate for such a role. Moreover, Sivkovych, Kulinich and Naumov were always more concerned about personal enrichment and corruption than about spy games. Sivkovych is nothing more than flag officer.

There may be other candidates for the role of supervisor. For example, it might be Ruslan Demchenko, diplomat, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, former Head of the parliamentary committee on intelligence, assistant \ advisor of almost all Ukrainian presidents starting with Leonid Kuchma, and the First Deputy Secretary of the National Defense and Security Council of Ukraine under President Zelensky. He does not have reputation of corrupted bureaucrat but he has reputation of person with pro-Russian views. However, the issue «Demchenko and Russian intelligence» has never been explored by the Ukrainian authorities (with an exception of his participation in signing the infamous Kharkiv Deal, investigated by journalists).

Ruslan Demchenko, photo:

On the other hand, records uncovered dubious role of Andrii Naumov, the friend of Ivan Bakanov, while the latter is close friend of Volodymyr Zelensky. This is to say, true purpose of these records could be removal of Bakanov from Zelensky’s close group. Some experts indicate that competing group of Yermak-Tatarov has recently gained almost monopoly influence on the President of Ukraine.

There is another ambiguous issue in this story. It is about obvious attempt to make Kulinich responsible for the quick Russian occupation of the South of Kherson oblast and stop any further investigation of this painful problem. He does bear his part of responsibility, but not the crucial one…

To sum up, four records of Sivkovych and Kulinich allowed the SBU to stop the activity of FSB agent Kulinich. However, it is unknown whether the whole network has been dismantled. The narrow framework of Kulinich’s case undermines real investigation of all public officials involved into planting the FSB network in Ukraine…