Ivan Bakanov: SBU stuff must be confident in social state guarantees

The state should provide basic social guarantees for SBU officers working under high-risk conditions, including in the JFO area. This was stated in the interview with Interfax-Ukraine agency by the SBU Head Ivan Bakanov.

“The central point of the SBU reform should be a person, an ordinary employee, who is a foundation of the powerful Service. The servicemen are a personnel reserve for changes in Ukraine. They defend our country every day, but they need to be sure that the state will protect them and their families. These people have to be confident that they have social protection and will not be abandoned during the next downsizing,” the SBU Head said.

These guarantees are all the more necessary in case of the officer’s death or injury. Moreover, during treatment it is necessary to maintain confidentiality that can only be provided by the departmental medical institution.

Ivan Bakanov explained that the reform includes redundancy of the SBU staff. The debate on the appropriate number is ongoing. The Service estimates that downsizing shall be carried out gradually from 27,000 to 20,000 untill 2027. Thus, the national defense capability will not be damaged and the state budget will not suffer losses from compensation for laid off employees. However, some deputies suggest to reduce the staff by 10,000 persons in three years.

Health care, education and professional development of SBU employees refer to basic social protection. “The state offers them dangerous, overtime and stressful work, including in the JFO area in Donbass. Albeit, the state cannot ensure a proper treatment and rehabilitation”, the SBU Head Ivan Bakanov emphasized. For instance, during the reform, it is proposed to transfer the SBU departmental medical institutions to the Ministry of Defense and to liquidate the SBU National Academy as a higher education institution.

“SBU stuff, military professionals are not mercenaries who risk their lives for money. They are the best sons and daughters, who have chosen to protect our Motherland. Still each of them needs motivation and confidence that the state will regularly perform their duties, rather than incidentally,” Ivan Bakanov stressed.