Suspected of having purchased software at inflated prices, Yuri Shchygol, in charge of cyber protection of government structures, was fired by the Ukrainian government.
The Ukrainian authorities announced Monday, November 20, the dismissal of a senior state official responsible for the , suspected of having embezzled more than 1.5 million euros during the purchase of software at inflated prices.
The Ukrainian government announced in the morning the dismissal of this official, Yuri Shchygol, who for three years had headed the State Special Communications Service responsible in particular for the cyber protection of government structures. His deputy was also removed.
The Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP) and the National Investigation Bureau (NABU) then declared that Yuri Shchygol was suspected of having embezzled in 2021 and 2022 62 million hryvnias (more than 1.5 million euros) when purchasing software from a foreign company at inflated prices.
“Prove your innocence”
These funds were transferred abroad in order to be “legalized and distributed among members» of the criminal group of which Yuri Shchygol was a part, accused the NABU in a press release published on Telegram. Yuri Shchygol, for his part, said he hoped to be able to “prove his innocence” to the court. “All purchases were made in compliance with current legislation.“, he said in a statement cited by the Interfax-Ukraine agency.
The investigation is currently targeting Yuri Shchygol, his deputy and four other officials who risk up to six years in prison, the SAP added on Telegram. At the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, this country was particularly targeted by numerous Russian cyberattacks from which it managed to defend itself, according to experts.
Over the course of the conflict, the number of cyberattacks has decreased significantly because the Russians “have partly exhausted their offensive capacity” And “Ukrainian defense has reached such a level that it is very complicated», Estimated in January 2023 the French commander in charge of cyber defense, General Aymeric de Bonnemaison.
The , an endemic disease in the country as in Russia and other countries of the former USSR, is one of the criteria set by the European Union for , which received tens of billions of euros from Western aid since the start of the invasion. Several corruption scandals have rocked Ukrainian officials for more than a year, including within the army.