Military Intelligence Day in Ukraine Date in the current year: September 7, 2024

Military Intelligence Day in Ukraine Military Intelligence Day in Ukraine is celebrated annually on September 7. It was established by the Minister of Defense of Ukraine in 2007 to commemorate the foundation anniversary of the Main Directorate of the Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

The history of Ukrainian military intelligence dates back to the Zaporozhian Sich, a semi-autonomous polity of Cossacks that existed from the 16th to the 18th century. Before attacking the enemy, atamans (chieftains) would send several teams of experience Cossacks to gather intelligence information.

The first intelligence service in independent Ukraine was created after the proclamation of the Ukrainian People’s Republic in 1918. Unfortunately, it was as short-lived as the republic itself. When Ukraine became part of the Soviet Union as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, its military intelligence was integrated into the Registration Agency, the predecessor of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the Red Army General Staff.

Military intelligence in present-day Ukraine is carried out by the Main Directorate of Intelligence and the Foreign Intelligence Service, while the Counterintelligence Department of the Security Service of Ukraine is responsible for counterintelligence. Their activities are clearly and exhaustively regulated by the law “On the Intelligence Agencies of Ukraine”, adopted on March 22, 2001.

The Main Directorate of Intelligence is a subdivision of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. Originally, Ukraine had two military intelligence agencies: the Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, formed in February 1992, and the Strategic Military Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, established on September 7, 1992. In July 1993, they were merged to form the present-day Main Directorate of Intelligence.

The Directorate performs the following functions:

  • obtaining and analyzing intelligence information before conveying it to the country’s senior military and civil authorities;
  • performing special tasks aimed at promoting the national interests and state policy in various areas, strengthening national defense, fostering science, technology and economic development, and protecting the state border;
  • helping to combat terrorism, international organized crime, arms and drug trafficking, and illegal migration;
  • ensuring the safety of Ukrainian institutions abroad, as well as the safety of their employees and family members;
  • counteracting external threats to the national security of Ukraine, lives and health of its citizens, and state-owned properties abroad.

The Foreign Intelligence Service, formed in 2004, is tasked with similar functions, but, unlike the Main Directorate of Intelligence, it reports directly to the President of Ukraine.

September 7 was declared Military Intelligence Day by Minister of Defense Anatoliy Hrytsenko. As most professional holidays in Ukraine, it is not a non-working holiday unless it falls on a weekend or coincides with a movable public holiday, such as Pentecost Monday.

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