Recently ousted State Communications Service head arrested on embezzlement charges in Kyiv
Photo: press service of the State Special Communications Service

The High Anti-Corruption Court has arrested Yury Shchyhol, the recently ousted head of Ukraine's State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection. Investigative judge Viktor Maslov announced that Shchyhol can obtain release if he pays 25 million hryvnias ($694,000) in bail.

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The term of arrest is through January 21.

According to the  investigation, Shchyhol and other officials as part of the organized group "took possession of budget funds in a particularly large amount, totaling more than 62 million hryvnias ($1.7 million)."

According to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, in 2021 the procurement of software for the creation of systems of protected data registers took place. The winner of the tender was a company allegedly controlled by Shchyhol.

It supplied software at an inflated cost to the state-owned enterprise Ukrainian Special Systems, which belongs to the State Special Communications Service.

The difference between the real price and the price received amounted to 62 million hryvnias ($1.7 million), which the participants in the corruption scheme allegedly transferred to the accounts of controlled companies abroad.

Shchyhol was appointed head of the State Special Communications Service on July 8, 2020. Before that, from 2008 to 2020, he served in the military in operative and managerial positions in the Security Service. He was engaged in the state program for providing Ukrainian soldiers with drones "Army of Drones", founded in July 2022 by the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the State Special Communications Service, the General Staff and the United24 project.

On November 22, the anti-graft court arrested the main suspect in embezzlement, businessman Roman Koval.