“Zelenskyi Appointed Biden’s Personal Driver a Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine.” Perhaps this is what the headlines would say about another career rung of Valerii Kondratiuk, should real journalism exist in Ukraine. But since journalism in feudal countries is in low social demand, and the profession of journalist is extinct in Ukraine, we shall try to fill in this information gap and tell a little bit about a renowned intelligence officer who led the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine during Poroshenko’s tenure and since October of 2016 had been a Deputy Head of the Administration of the President.
Valerii Kondratiuk’s subordinates at the DI of the MD called him “Biden’s driver” because every time Vice President of the U.S. Joe Biden came to Ukraine, he asked that it be Valerii Vitaliyovych to drive him to Boryspil airport on the way home—they had a lot to discuss in a car protected from eavesdropping. This is not surprising as Kondratiuk is one of those few established agents of foreign intelligence (in this case, the U.S. intelligence) who are also public servants.
Having graduated from the Faculty of the Military Diplomatic Service of the Academy of Ukrainian Armed Forces in 1996, Kondratiuk served at the DI of the MD, where he represented the military intelligence of a young independent nation at the Staff Officer Course at the Netherlands Army Staff College, at the Canadian Forces School of Military Intelligence, and at the counterterrorism training at U.S. FBI Academy. Then, in 1999, he became a Defence Attaché at the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States.
Another established agent of foreign intelligence (this time, Israeli intelligence) was Andriy Taranov, Kondratiuk’s closest friend, whom Kondratiuk replaced in the Administration of the President after Taranov’s death in September of 2016. But whereas Taranov, sent to Tel Aviv as a Defence Attaché, was uncovered in 2004 (word is Taranov was arrested by the counterintelligence of the SSU on suspicion of taking $17K from Mossad’s representative) and was forced to “retire” the following year at the age of 39, Kondratiuk’s star, on the contrary, shined anew. When Valentyn Nalyvaichenko happened to become the acting head of the SSU, Valerii Kondratiuk, who in 2004 left the DI of the MD and joined the SSU, was appointed a Chief of Staff of the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine.
During Yanukovych’s tenure, the SSU started investigating Kondratiuk’s activities; according to the gist of the criminal proceeding, it was Kondratiuk who, having been recruited by the U.S. intelligence in the 90s, engaged Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, a consul of Ukraine in Washington, into cooperation with the U.S. intelligence in 2001. But it is hard to verify this theory today: prior to Yanukovych fleeing the country, a then Head of the SSU Oleksandr Yakymenko and his deputy Volodymyr Totskyi moved the case files from many interesting criminal proceedings to Simferopol, including the ones regarding the treason committed by Nalyvaichenko and Kondratiuk.
Several days later, Nalyvaichenko, appointed the Head of the SSU, flew to Simferopol and managed to save a couple of cases from being moved to Russia, including case files on Kondratiuk. There’s a rumor going at the SSU that Valentyn Oleksandrovych brought these files to Kyiv and burned them in a solemn setting, after which Kondratiuk was appointed a Head of the Counterintelligence Department of the SSU.
When Poroshenko assumed office, Valerii Kondratiuk became a Head of the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence, which came as a total shock to defence intelligence community not only because of his reputation as an agent of foreign intelligence, but also because Kondratiuk had no clue about operational activities, unless of course someone considers recruiting Nalyvaichenko on behalf of the U.S. intelligence as such. And on top of that, Kondratiuk brought along with him to the DI of the MD a whole bunch of Dzerzhinsky’s great-grandchildren who belonged in prison for a long time.
In particular, Kondratiuk appointed Vasyl Burba his deputy. Mr. Burba, too, was very remotely related to operational activities, as he led the Second Office in the Main Department for the Fight Against Corruption and Organized Crime of the SSU (Department K), and word is that during working hours he only used to cater to business interests of a then Head of Department K Balakhonov. However, Burba didn’t totally ignore his work, e.g. his professional interests included maintaining contacts with the SSU agents among the Automaidan activists and orchestrating mysterious burnings of protesters’ cars. Also, Vasyl Vasyliovych was an active participant of the Boomerang antiterrorist operation announced in late February of 2014 in response to protests in the center of Kyiv; in particular, he was responsible for setting up roadblocks at the entrance to Kyiv.
Efforts of such “specialists” as Kondratiuk and Burba led to routine failures of foreign agents, unofficial agents being caught on a regular basis, and recurring arrests of the officers of the DI of the MD working abroad disguised as reporters. Suffice it to mention a Colonel Roman Sushchenko of the DI of the MD, who was precipitously sent by Kondratiuk from Paris to Moscow to pick up a package from a dead drop, or a Colonel Pavlo Sharoiko of the DI of the MD, who was sent by Kondratiuk to Minsk to pose as a reporter. And this is considering that before turning to operational job, Sharoiko was openly employed at the defence intelligence—he was a Head of the Press Office of the Defence Intelligence and exposed himself as a military spy as early as 2006.
Neither Sushchenko nor Sharoiko never made their affiliation a secret, because who’d have thought that military operations would ever start on the territory of Ukraine? Before 2014, any “field work” was always considered sinecure by the officers of the DI of the MD of Ukraine, and they were sent abroad without any cover or operational training—either they paid for it or used their connections with the management. So it’s rather natural that Russian counterintelligence officers knew about Sushchenko’s arrival since the moment he checked in for his flight, and Sharoiko got under surveillance of the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus as soon as he showed his passport to Belarusian border guards in the Kyiv to Minsk train.
Kondratiuk and his minion Burba had a chance to show their level of intelligence after the scandal they sparked following Sharoiko’s arrest by the Belarusian counterintelligence officers on October 25, 2017. Official Minsk chose not to publicize this fact, and the President of the Republic of Belarus Oleksandr Lukashenko met with Petro Poroshenko in Riyadh in November of 2017 and agreed to pardon Sharoiko after his conviction and to quietly hand him over to Ukraine with zero media coverage, lest arrest of a Ukrainian spy spoils bilateral relationships.
However, Kondratiuk imagined himself a politician of international significance (sure thing: he drove Biden to the airport, of all people) and decided to launch a loud campaign similar to the one he launched after the Colonel of the DI of the MD of Ukraine Roman Sushchenko had been arrested in Moscow. So, three weeks after Pavlo Sharoiko had been detained in Minsk, Kondratiuk asked Zurab Alasania, a CEO of the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, to post a message on his Facebook page that Belarus allegedly carried out a devious provocation and arrested an innocent Ukrainian reporter in aggressor country’s interests.
Kondratiuk didn’t stop there and, together with Burba, using agents of the SSU, began publishing provocative publications in the media, blaming Belarusian counterintelligence for, basically, doing professional job (which can’t be said about their Ukrainian colleagues). And all this instead of drawing lessons out of recurrent failures of the military intelligence agents and revising the approach to organizing intelligence work abroad.
In response, the President of Belarus, utterly bewildered by how Ukrainian side, contrary to earlier arrangements, was trying to spark a spy scandal out of the blue and disrupt Lukashenko’s state visit to Kyiv, ordered to show Sharoiko’s interrogation on TV, during which the pseudo reporter recounted how he ended up in Minsk.
By the way, during interrogations at the State Security Committee, Sharoiko told a lot of interesting stuff, including information about both a so-called reporter Roman Sushchenko and Dmytro Tymchuk, MP (still alive back then). In particular, according to Sharoiko, it was him who was supposed to get elected an MP in order to carry out intelligence activities; to that end, he even created and maintained an Information Resistance website under the umbrella of the DI of the MD of Ukraine. But because of his colleague Tymchuk’s ploys, it was the latter who got the parliament seat in the end, not Sharoiko.
Nevertheless, to this day neither Sushchenko’s and Sharoiko’s failures, nor the sad fate of “Crimean saboteurs” sent by Kondratiuk and Burba to the annexed peninsula, where they were immediately caught by Russian counterintelligence officers, and constant rumors of military intelligence officers’ involvement in commerce with the occupied territories haven’t led to the discussion (at least in a closed meeting of the corresponding Committee of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine) about the state of the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine under the management of Valerii Kondratiuk and Vasyl Burba.
But today Kondratiuk and Burba are worst enemies. Valerii Vitaliyovych quite predictably lost his position of the Deputy Head of the Administration of the President after Poroshenko lost a presidential election and decided to fight for the position of the Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service. But Vasyl Vasyliovych was gearing up to assume that same office, because he had already sucked everything out of the DI of the MD and was hoping to lead an “intelligence committee,” supposedly to be created some day based on the Foreign Intelligence Service. One can only imagine how mad Kondratiuk got at Burba, because he rightly believed and still believes that it was him who saved Vasyl Vasyliovych from imminent imprisonment for participating in dispersing Maidan and burning activists’ cars in January and February of 2014, first by fixing him a job at the DI of the MD of Ukraine as a deputy head, and then, with the support of the U.S. Embassy, even making Burba the head of the military intelligence.
However, Kondratiuk found a way to disgrace Burba in the eyes of President Zelenskyi and assume the coveted position of the Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service. He assured Arbiter of the Nation that it was allegedly Burba who organized surveillance of Yermak’s brother and disseminated videos taped with a hidden camera where Yermak junior sells public offices on his brother’s behalf. In addition, he told Zelenskyi that according to his well-established information, it was Burba who taped a conversation between Biden and Poroshenko in 2016 and handed over the record to a former prosecutor Kulyk for publishing. Even more so, Kondratiuk promised Zelenskyi that, should he be appointed the Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Schemes show on the American Radio Liberty would cater to the Office of the President’s interests. Under Kondratiuk’s supervision, they would even produce an episode on how that Burba bastard intercepted conversations between Biden and Poroshenko.
The calculations were right, because Zelenskyi, even though it’s been over a year now since he’s been holding the highest position in Ukraine instead of playing piano with his dick, never figured out how the state machinery was supposed to function. In particular, Volodymyr Oleksandrovych was not informed that conversations between Biden and Poroshenko were taped fairly legally, and a then aide to the president Oleksiy Horashchenkov (who later became a First Deputy Head of the Main Department for Strategic Planning and Operative Provision of the Administration of the President) moved them to a server in the situation room where they were stored until May of 2019.
The story with “Yermak tapes” is even more hilarious. Denys Yermak was being simultaneously followed both by Chervisnkyi’s boys (actually Petrov’s boys; Petrov was recently appointed by Zelenskyi a Head of Zakarpattia Region State Administration) from the Fifth Office of the Counterintelligence Department of the SSU and, following Andriy Bohdan’s orders, by Oleksandr Bilous, a Department K officer from the Kyiv office. On August 6, 2019 Bohdan brought this Bilous, together with a current Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko and developer Andriy Vavrysh, to Zelenskyi with an idea to appoint him a Head of the MO of the SSU in Kyiv and Kyiv Region. In exchange, Bohdan, Vavrysh, and Tkachenko promised Zelenskyi that Bilous, with the help of Serhiy Horbatiuk, a Head of the Department of Special Investigations, would be able to orchestrate a bribe provocation and arrange that a Deputy Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories Yuriy Hrymchak (used as a pawn) slip some cash to Anzhela Stryzhevska, a Deputy Prosecutor General, and one of the deputies of Vitali Klitschko, a Kyiv mayor (in order to compromise the latter and call a snap election of the capital’s mayor). However, Lieutenant Bakanov intervened at the time, mad at Bohdan for appointing heads of regional offices of the SSU behind his back, and Bilous only got a position of the First Deputy Head of the MO of the SSU in Kyiv and Kyiv Region…
Anyway, Kondratiuk now convinced Zelenskyi that the Foreign Intelligence Service cannot function at its full capacity unless this Bilous (who got ousted by Oleh Holovash, a new Head of the MO of the SSU in Kyiv and Kyiv Region, as soon as the latter assumed office in May 2020) is appointed a Deputy Head of the FIS.
One can only hope that Vasyl Burba doesn’t leave such ploys of his former patron unanswered, and orders, via the U.S. Embassy where he’s favored no less than Kondratiuk, a show on Radio Liberty about a petty swindler Kondratiuk, who used to embezzle funds of the Defence Intelligence and even found a place at the DI of the MD of Ukraine for his own wife; she was being paid under Article 9 as a valuable agent.
Don’t stop fighting, dear spies, it suits you so well…