Ukraine launches investigation into surveillance of US envoy Marie Yovanovitch

Ukraine's Interior Ministry said on Thursday that the country has launched a probe into alleged surveillance of former United States envoy to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. The country also opened investigation into alleged hacking of Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian natural gas company, at the center of US President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. Trump was impeached by the US House of Representatives on December 18, last year for having asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to probe former US Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who was a board member at Burisma Holdings, from 2014 to 2019.

Marie Yovanovitch
Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Wikimedia Commons

'Violation of international law'

Ukraine's Interior Ministry said in a statement, "Ukraine's position is not to interfere in the domestic affairs of the United States of America. However, recent reports pointed to the possible violation of Ukrainian and international law. Ukraine cannot ignore such illegal activities on the territory of its own state."

The Ministry said that the alleged perpetrators "are being identified".

Envoy's surveillance

Records released by House Democrats earlier this week suggest that the Yovanovitch was being closely monitored by a Republican congressional candidate from Connecticut, Robert Hyde. Her physical movements were tracked in real time along with her computer and phone use.

Burisma Holdings hacked

According to a report that emerged on Monday, Burisma Holdings was hacked by Russian spies. The Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Army (GRU), "launched a phishing campaign targeting Burisma Holdings" as early as November, according to the cyber-security firm Area 1 Security.

Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden was appointed as the company's board member in May, 2014, who held the position till last year.

The FBI has been invited to take part in the Burisma hacking investigation, the ministry said, the Associated Press reported.