Yury Myronenko
Yury Myronenko was appointed the new head of Ukraine's State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection cyber agency on December 1, 2023. Credit: SSSCIP

Ukraine appoints new cyber chief following ouster of top officials

The Ukrainian government has appointed Yury Myronenko, a decorated serviceman and air defense commander, as head of one of its main cybersecurity agencies following the recent ouster of the agency’s two leaders amid a corruption probe.

In a statement published by the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection (SSSCIP) late on Friday, Myronenko said that he would present a plan for the agency's development “in the near future.”

His appointment comes on the heels of a stunning shakeup last week in which the agency’s former chief, Yurii Shchyhol, and his deputy, Victor Zhora, were each sacked and subsequently detained. The two are suspected of involvement in a software procurement scheme in which they allegedly embezzled $1.72 million between 2020 and 2022.

Shchyhol was released from detention on $700,000 bail, while Zhora was sent to pretrial detention center this week.

An economist by education, Myronenko started his career in the banking sector before taking on managerial roles in companies involved in technology, logistics, construction, and agriculture.

Since 2014, he has served as the head and chairman of the board for a think tank overseeing reforms in Ukraine.

In 2019, Myronenko joined Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces and defended Kyiv during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as part of the 112th Brigade. Later, Myronenko became the commander of a strike company within the Air Defense Forces.

He was awarded the honorary “Silver Cross” badge by the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.

SSSCIP is responsible for the cyber protection of state information resources and critical infrastructure.

Since the beginning of the war, the agency's computer emergency response team (CERT-UA) has recorded almost 4,000 cyber incidents, three times more than before the war. The agency also oversees funds for the “army of drones” project, which procures drones for the Armed Forces.

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Daryna Antoniuk

Daryna Antoniuk

is a reporter for Recorded Future News based in Ukraine. She writes about cybersecurity startups, cyberattacks in Eastern Europe and the state of the cyberwar between Ukraine and Russia. She previously was a tech reporter for Forbes Ukraine. Her work has also been published at Sifted, The Kyiv Independent and The Kyiv Post.