Jan 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Ukraine to investigate possible Yovanovitch surveillance

Former US Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch

Photo: Andrew Harrer/AFP via Getty Images

Ukraine's Interior Ministry announced it is launching a criminal investigation into possible illegal surveillance of former U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and the hacking of natural gas company Burisma Holdings, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The decision comes two days after Democrats released documents that appear to show Lev Parnas, an associate of President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, indicating he discussed surveilling Yovanovitch in March 2019.

  • The FBI has been invited to participate in the investigation, AP reports.

The big picture per Axios' Alayna Treene: If anything comes of these investigations, it could give Democrats new ammunition as the Senate proceeds with its impeachment trial.

What they're saying: In a statement, the ministry said, "Ukraine's position is not to interfere in the domestic affairs of the United States of America," but the allegations of illegal surveillance could be a violation of Ukrainian and international law, per NBC.


  • Yovanovitch testified in November that she was the subject of a smear campaign spearheaded by Giuliani that led to her firing.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, was a director of Burisma Holdings. The impeachment inquiry started following allegations that Trump threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine if they didn't investigate Burisma.

Go deeper: Yovanovitch urges Ukraine probe after Parnas phone records release

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