Military Counterintelligence Day in Ukraine Date in the current year: December 18, 2024

Military Counterintelligence Day in Ukraine Military Counterintelligence Day is a Ukrainian professional observance held annually on December 18. It was created to recognize the Military Counterintelligence Department of the Security Service of Ukraine.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU or SBU – short for Sluzhba bezpeky Ukrainy) is Ukraine’s main security agency responsible for counterintelligence and combating organized crime and terrorism. It was created following the proclamation of Ukraine’s independence by reorganizing the Committee for State Security (KGB) of the Ukrainian SSR. The Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) adopted the Resolution “On Establishment of the National Security Service of Ukraine” on September 20, 1991 and the Law “On the Security Service of Ukraine” on March 25, 1992.

On December 18, 1991, Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk signed the Decree “On Counterintelligence Support of Military Formations” (the anniversary of this decree is now celebrated as Military Counterintelligence Day by the SBU). According to the decree, the main task of the Main Military Counterintelligence Directorate was to provide counterintelligence support to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine, the Border Troops of Ukraine, troops of the Strategic Armed Forces, and other military formations stationed in Ukraine.

The organizational status of military counterintelligence has changed several times since then. For instance, in 2003, the Main Military Counterintelligence Directorate was reorganized into the Military Counterintelligence Department. Two years later, the department was transformed back into the Military Counterintelligence Directorate of the Counterintelligence Department of the SBU.

A new stage in the development of Ukraine’s military counterintelligence began in 2014, following the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the beginning of the War in Donbas. During the years that followed, steps were taken to improve military counterintelligence, make it more flexible, and get rid of double agents that worked for Russian intelligence services. In 2020, President Volodymyr Zelensky once again reorganized the Military Counterintelligence Department into the Military Counterintelligence Directorate.

The military counterintelligence of the SBU is responsible for a wide range of tasks, from preventing the infiltration of foreign intelligence agents into Ukrainian troops to counterintelligence protection of Ukraine’s defense potential. Other important tasks include blocking the illicit trafficking of arms and munitions to prevent their use for sabotage and terrorists attacks, and protecting military facilities from sabotage. The contribution of military intelligence on the front lines became especially important when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Many accomplishments of military counterintelligence are classified for obvious reasons, so the brave men and women working for the Military Counterintelligence Directorate often don’t get the credit they deserve. Military Counterintelligence Day was created to highlight their contribution to national security, especially in times of war.

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Military Counterintelligence Day in Ukraine, holidays in Ukraine, professional observances, Security Service of Ukraine