Ukrainian Government Removes Covert Listening Device from Commander-in-Chief’s Office

On December 17th, 2023, Espresso News broke the story that a covert listening device had been discovered in Ukrainian military Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny’s personal office. The Ukrainian government has now confirmed the incident.

After the story broke, former Deputy Defense Minister Mailar was the first official to comment on the incident. She pessimistically stated:

“I will reveal a little about the specifics of working in responsible government positions. There is no presumption of trust, as in marriage.

Therefore, employees of special services are obliged to ensure that the official does not harm state security.

For example, carriers of state secrets have serious restrictions even on communication. Yes, there is a category of persons with whom it is impossible to communicate without official permission and instruction.

And work in high positions is a priori work under constant supervision, because it is a matter of state security.”

This cryptic statement implies that the device was from the Ukrainian government. It is important to remember that Mailar was sacked from her post in September after reporting Ukrainian successes in the counter offensive, a public relations move that deepened Western doubt over Ukraine’s reporting due to the lack of success.

However, at approximately 0600 EST, the Ukrainian government confirmed there actually had been a device in the commander’s office and that it had been removed before that office was to be used today. The device was found in the office of the commander’s personal assistant. The announcement reads below:

“Yesterday, during a scheduled inspection of the premises, elements of information removal equipment were detected in one of the deployment locations.

Listening devices were installed in the offices designated for the work of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the staff of the Apparatus to his activities.

In order to determine the circumstances of the mentioned event, its consequences and persons involved, the Security Service of Ukraine was informed.”

This security breach at the highest levels of the Ukrainian military is undoubtedly embarrassing to the Ukrainians. But it also presents a much deeper sign of either espionage or corruption in the Ukrainian government. If a foreign actor planted the device, that government was able to eavesdrop on Western support to Ukraine, Ukrainian war aims, and other critical intelligence. However, if it was a Ukrainian plant by the increasingly paranoid Zelensky government, the effect could be equally as devastating in the public relations domain as Western support for the two year war is cracking, especially among American conservatives.

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Ethan Alun
Ethan Alun
A United States Naval Academy and American Military University Alumni, Ethan covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.
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