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Department for National Statehood Protection and Combating Terrorism (DZND)

The Department consists of the Directorate for National Statehood Protection and the Directorate for Combating Terrorism and Protection of Individuals Participating in Criminal Justice. Primary activities of the specified divisions are directed at ensuring peace and order in the society, preventing terrorist acts, and precluding aggravated confrontation between opposite political or religious forces, as well as other destabilizing processes that are potential threats to democratic achievements.

From the moment when the independent Ukrainian state was established, it was logical that questions came up how to protect it from encroachments on its national sovereignty, to safeguard its territorial integrity and constitutional system, and to combat terrorist actions. In the course of a cardinal reorganization of state security bodies, a specific division - the Directorate for National Statehood Protection was created within their system on March 16, 1994. The division had the task to totally renounce a political oversight and to reorient itself toward protecting the constitutional foundations of the state and vested human rights and interests by focusing its efforts on counteracting entities or individuals that use violent and other anticonstitutional tactics, espouse chauvinism and separatism, provoke conflicts and civil disobedience actions, and exacerbate ethnic and religious enmities.

The issues of preventing and combating acts of terrorism are among top priorities of the DZND as international criminals regard Ukraine's geopolitical position as a convenient ground for smuggling arms, drugs, and radioactive materials, as well as for diversifying criminal terrorism forms. For this reason, in 1994 the Directorate for Combating Terrorism and Protection of Individuals Participating in Criminal Justice was created within the structure of the SBU subject to the Decree of the President of Ukraine and based on the Laws of Ukraine "On Ensuring Security of Criminal Justice Participants" and "On the State Protection Of Court and Law Enforcement Officers."

The Directorate and its regional divisions can be involved in operations only with the permission of the chief of the Security Service of Ukraine and only with the approval of senior state officials in cases when conducting especially complicated operations that can adversely affect international relations or the political situation in the country.

During the period of its existence, the Directorate conducted over 300 operations to apprehend especially dangerous criminals and free hostages. After receiving threats from offenders, more than 200 individuals who participated in criminal justice proceedings and about 100 members of their families were put under the protection of this task-force unit. The unit is trained and outfitted in line with present requirements in order to be ready to carry out any complex tasks.

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Page last modified: 28-07-2011 00:55:28 ZULU