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Ukraine launches probe into alleged surveillance of former U.S. envoy

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Image: Marie Yovanovitch
Marie Yovanovitch   -  
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Jonathan Ernst
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Ukraine has launched criminal investigations into the possible illegal surveillance of former U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, and the alleged hacking of Burisma Holdings, the natural gas company at the center of the Trump impeachment.

"Ukraine's position is not to interfere in the domestic affairs of the United States of America," the country's Interior Ministry said in a statement. However, recent reports pointed to the possible violation of Ukrainian and international law, it said.

"Ukraine cannot ignore such illegal activities on the territory of its own state," the statement added.

Earlier this week,records released by House Democrats appeared to show that Yovanovitch was being closely monitored by a Republican congressional candidate, her physical movements tracked in real time along with her computer and phone use.

And in a report that emerged Monday, security experts said Burisma Holdings was hacked by Russian spies.

The Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Army, or GRU, "launched a phishing campaign targeting Burisma Holdings" as early as November, according to the cybersecurity firm Area 1 Security.

Ukraine's interior ministry said the alleged perpetrators "are being identified."

Burisma employed Hunter Biden, the former vice president's son, as a board member in May 2014. He stopped working with the company in 2019.

President Donald Trump was impeached in part because he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a phone call in July to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden and appeared to raise unfounded allegations that the former vice president had stymied prosecution of the company.

Ukrainian officials said they had also approached the FBI and the company that detected signs of the hacking attack to assist in the investigation. Joe Biden is seen as one of Trump's main Democratic rival in the 2020 presidential election.

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