Democratic Control

Democratic control

The SSU holds firm to proper balance between confidentiality and publicity in its activity. As the efficiency of its counterintelligence operations hinges upon the former, yet the credibility and trust of Ukrainians – on the latter.

The system of the democratic and civil control over the SSU, as a constituent part of the security and defense sector, is in constant evolution. It is exercised through:

  • parliamentary oversight
  • presidential control
  • anticorruption control
  • finance control
  • judicial oversight
  • prosecutorial oversight
  • public oversight

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine exercises the parliamentary oversight through the Commissioner of the Human Rights Council and the relevant committees (in particular, the Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence as well as the Committee on Law Enforcement).

The SSU submits the annual report on its activity to the Parliament.

In case of necessity, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine may hold parliamentary sessions on national security and defence issues which are of public interest or require legal regulation. The Parliament and its relevant committees are eligible to engage in and hear the SSU officials as well as officers at its sessions so as to obtain the relevant information.

The presidential control is exercised through the regular informing and reports to the President on the performance of the missions assigned to the SSU, submitting the annual detailed report on its activity. It is also realized through the Commissioner for control over the activities of the SSU, the National Security and Defence Council along with the Headquarters of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief (within the martial law period).

The judicial and prosecutorial oversight concerns compliance with the law the SSU operations, which temporarily restrict human rights and freedoms within pre-trial, operative and counterintelligence activities.

On the grounds of security and preserving state secrets, the counterintelligence operations, in most cases, are kept classified to the public.

Yet the civilians have the right to be engaged into the public oversight through the organizations, the members of which they are, MPs of the local councils or in person by appealing to the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights or directly to the SSU.

As to interacting with citizens, the SSU “hotline” operates 24/7. Besides, there exists a clear procedure for handling applications and appeals as well as access to public information. In addition, individual receptions are held by departmental directors.

Apart from that, public organizations are empowered to carry out investigation on national security and defense issues, scrutinize draft laws, decisions, programs, provide conclusions and proposals.

The SSU official site ( regularly informs the society on its activities presenting verified pages in social and mass media. The public report on the SSU activity is annually issued.

Furthermore, the Complex Strategic Plan on reforming law enforcement agencies within the security and defense sector of Ukraine for 2023-2027 envisages to empower opportunities as well as the tools of democratic civilian control and public oversight.