The NBU, the SBU, wiretapping and shenanigans all round

November 24, 2016

Wiretapped telephone conversations of a former Deputy Head of the NBU, now Director for Banking Supervision at the NBU Ekaterina Rozhkova have appeared on the Internet.

The internal workings of the National Bank of Ukraine, or any national bank, are far beyond the competencies of this blog.  It may be that what these telephone recordings prove is really rather standard fare within central banks other than that of the NBU – unfortunate if true.

Prima facie however, the wiretapped conversations would seem to display something bordering upon criminality in the collapsing of St Michael’s Bank and also in the support of Platinum Bank.

A cynical reader may perhaps ponder whether some bank owners simply orbit the wrong political planets when it comes to the “independent a-political” support of the NBU.  With the banks mentioned in the recordings clearly some bank owners are close to currently powerful figures, such as Granovsky, Lozhkin etc., – and some aren’t.

Cynicism redirected however, there is another side to the tale of these apparent NBU shenanigans and the wiretapping that disclosed them.

The only State agency permitted to conduct wiretapping is the SBU.


SBU Chief Hrytsak however states that the SBU received no requests to carry out the wiretapping by any authority relating to Ms Rozhkova, and it would appear the wiretapping is also not the product of an on-going SBU investigation – for Mr Hrytsak claims the SBU does not even have the wiretap recordings (other than what can be gleaned from the Internet).

The recording however are clearly the result of good tradecraft.

If the SBU received no authority and sought none regarding these wiretaps that they claim not to even posses, then who carried them out?

If not officially the SBU, perhaps then unofficially the SBU?

If so who within the SBU, to what end, for whom, for what reward etc?

There are counterintelligence questions to be asked within the SBU if its officers are “for hire” – and if “for hire” for hire to whom considering the varying levels of external infiltration that will still exist within all State structures of Ukraine.

If it wasn’t the SBU, whether or not it was carried out by another foreign or domestic institution equally demands the SBU set about discovering who that was – and why.

Clearly NABU would be wise to use this incident to reassert its need for its own “in-house” wiretapping abilities – the case for not relying upon the SBU made clear by such a poor public (and quite possibly internal) display in the handling of these illicit wiretaps.

Meanwhile, as media and SBU encourage a reader to look at these events within the NBU, there is an equally disturbing story relating to the SBU and the wiretapping itself otherwise ignored.

Will anything come of any NBU nefariousness when evidence is based upon the foundation of an illegal wiretap?  A question to be answered later perhaps.

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