Ukrainian general convicted of treason

August 16, 2023

A Ukrainian general was found guilty of treason for collaborating with Russia. 

Valerii Shaitanov, a former major general in Ukraine's secret police, the SBU, was sentenced to 12 years in prison and will have his property seized.

A court in Kyiv found that Shaitanov, going by the alias "Bobyl," shared state secrets with a Russian counterpart, Igor "Elbrus" Yegorov, in the KGB's successor agency, the FSB.

Ukrainian general convicted

Shaitanov is accused of planning to assassinate Adam Osmayev, the general of a volunteer unit of Chechens fighting for Ukraine in the Donbas, where Ukraine and Russia have been fighting a brutal war since 2014.

The predominantly Russian region of eastern Ukraine has seen some of the heaviest fighting since Russia invaded Ukraine last year.

Shaitanov allegedly sought to recruit fellow SBU members into his plot on behalf of Russia.

Zelensky cracks down

Ukrainian leader Volodymr Zelensky has overseen a purge of the military and state security services since Russia's invasion, frequently accusing officials of collaboration with the enemy.

Those sacked by Zelensky include a childhood friend who served as the former chief of SBU, Ivan Bakanov.

Zelensky also recently fired all of Ukraine's regional recruitment chiefs, accusing them of taking bribes from draft-dodgers.

“This system should be managed by people who know exactly what war is and why cynicism and bribery in time of war are high treason,” Zelensky said.


Zelensky has also controversially targeted opposing political parties and the Orthodox church as part of a campaign to "de-Russify" Ukraine.

The SBU, which has a track record of torture and abuse, put an influential Orthodox priest under house arrest over his alleged Russian sympathies.

“A robe is not always a guarantee of pure intentions,” the SBU said. “Today the enemy is trying to use the church environment to promote its propaganda and divide Ukrainian society.”

Of course, many Americans are wondering what Ukraine is doing with the billions of U.S. tax dollars, and counting, flowing into the country.

Corruption is an endemic problem in Ukraine - which Joe Biden has trumpeted as the future of "our democracy" - with 89 percent of Ukrainians ranking corruption as the most pressing issue after the war.

Republicans have ramped up scrutiny of Biden's personal ties to Ukraine, with some calling for the president to be impeached over an alleged bribe.

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