Ukraine checks whether the former US ambassador was under surveillance

Ukrainian authorities have opened a criminal investigation into reports that the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine was under surveillance by American citizens before she was called back from office.

The move came after Democrats in the House released documents Tuesday in the impeachment probe against President Trump, showing that an associate of his personal lawyer,

Rudy Giuliani,

monitoring text messages have been sent

Marie Yovanovitch

in Ukraine.

Ukrainian authorities said they also investigated media reports that the Russian military violated Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas company in which it was formerly vice-president.

Joe Biden

the son served on the board, making him the focus of the Trump impeachment investigation.

The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday. On Monday, the Russian embassy in Washington also did not respond to a request for comment on the allegations.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Interior has stated that it will examine Ms Yovanovitch’s alleged surveillance “to investigate the possible presence of violations of Ukrainian and international laws … or [if it was] just swagger and fake speeches in an informal conversation between two US citizens. “

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“Ukraine cannot ignore such illegal activities on its territory,” said the ministry.

The ministry appealed to the United States to cooperate with the spacecraft. The State Department did not respond to a request for comment.

In documents issued by the Chamber,

Robert F. Hyde,

a candidate for the Republican Congress in Connecticut sent a message

Lev Parnas,

an associate accused of Mr. Giuliani, about his apparent knowledge of Mrs. Yovanovitch’s movements.

The lyrics included messages like “they’ll let me know when it’s on the move”, “I’m willing to help if we want to pay a price” and “I guess you can do anything in Ukraine with the money.”

Later, Mr. Hyde wrote: “If you want her out they have to contact the security forces.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation visited Mr. Hyde’s Connecticut home and business on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Mr. Hyde tweeted that he was never in Kiev and called it “ridiculous” that the Democrats used “some of my friend’s texts and I wrote again to some friend we were playing with that we met a few times. while we were having a drink. “

Also on Thursday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior said it had asked the FBI for help to investigate a suspected cyber attack on Burisma. He also sought assistance from Area 1, a California-based cybersecurity company that reported the hacking Monday.

The ministry said it investigated whether hackers tried to “steal employee personal information and gain access to emails from company executives.”

Attempts to hack Burisma began in November, Area 1 said, while Congress held hearings that Mr. Trump had abused his office by putting pressure on his Ukrainian counterpart to work with Mr. Giuliani to investigate Mr. Biden. and his son, Hunter.

Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch told lawmakers that a “defamatory campaign” led by Rudy Giuliani resulted in his dismissal. (Originally published on November 15, 2019)

Continued hacking attempts are linked to the Russian military intelligence unit formerly known as GRU, which violated democratic emails during the 2016 presidential election, Area 1 said.

The ministry said it was also investigating whether hackers were targeting the entertainment production company Kvartal 95, founded by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Zelensky declined to comment.

Corrections and amplifications
The Ukrainian Ministry of Interior has asked Area 1, an IT security company, to help investigate a suspected cyber attack on Burisma. An earlier version of this article incorrectly called the company as Area 51. (January 16, 2019)

Write to Georgi Kantchev at [email protected]

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