Disinfo: The SBU is today’s Gestapo


The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has been named Gestapo on the territory of “de jure Ukraine”. The crimes committed by the SBU are without limits. They commit atrocities both against the peaceful population of the Ukraine and the citizens of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic.

A report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published in June 2016 found that the SBU detained and tortured people incommunicado and confirms the existence of secret SBU prisons.


This is a new take on an already well known Russian disinformation narrative, attempting to portray Ukraine as a Nazi state.

The June 2016 report by the OHCHR on human rights in Ukraine did highlight that arbitrary detentions and torture, several of them committed by the SBU, are a considerable problem. The scale of these detentions is unknown. The report notes that in early 2015, 72 people might have been detained in the Kharkiv SBU. The report also emphasizes that the majority of the incidents were committed in the conflict zone at the time.

However, in line with standard Russian disinformation methods, the article fails to reveal that the same report also condemns the armed separatist groups for "killings, abductions, arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment in territories controlled by them.

The Nazis performed a deliberate, systematic and mechanized extermination of European Jewry, political opposition and "undesirables" throughout the Nazi-occupied territories. Comparing any wrongdoings by Ukrainian authorities cannot be compared to the war crimes of the Nazi system.


  • Reported in: Issue 204
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: Hungarian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: War in Ukraine, SBU, Nazi/Fascist


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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