After the USSR collapsed, and Ukraine regained its independence inAugust, 1991, the country’s leadership was fully aware of how important it was to set up the military organization of the young nation, therefore establishment of a sustainable military intelligence system was considered top priority. The intelligence system within the Ukrainian Armed Forces began developing simultaneously with the establishment of the Armed Forces in order to protect the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Officers who initially served in the intelligence systems of Soviet formations stationed in the Ukrainian territory, and those who returned to Ukraine from various parts of the former USSR became the organizational core which developed all the necessary regulatory documents and formed basis for the Ukrainian military intelligence.
The new Ukrainian military intelligence agency was in fact built upon the existing intelligence assets of Kyiv, Odessa, Carpathian military districts, air-defence army, 17th Air Army, portion of the Black Sea Fleet, and center-controlled units.
Despite the lack of the entire necessary infrastructure in the initial stage of development of the Armed Forces, the described agency was able to perform as prototype to a military intelligence system and its informational component. Nevertheless, it was incapable of performing the whole array of missions typical to a country’s military intelligence system.
For that matter, a decision has been made to establish several additional intelligence agencies and bodies with informational units under most of them.
The Intelligence Directorate of the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine began forming in February, 1992.
Various fragments of the defence intelligence system operated individually at that time; there was no single command and control system, which made it impossible to control the operation of forces and assets tasked with combat alert duties and intelligence missions in peacetime, and to set up task-oriented intelligence gathering and analysis. In addition, there was no single operations, combat training system, personnel management, logistics support; the educational institutions and research facilities were disorganized.
Once the Intelligence Directorate of the General Headquarters was established, its main efforts were directed to bringing the intelligence services of various branches of the military under centralized control with further development of peace-time intelligence system. Directorate’s staff contributed greatly to the development of various regulations and field manuals that did not exist in the Ukrainian military at that time.
The steps that followed addressed the issues of establishment of the strategic military intelligence service. Therefore, in compliance with the Presidential Decree of September 7, 1992, a decision was made concerning the establishment of the Strategic Military Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.
This meant that intelligence organization and activities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were controlled by two separate authorities. It was clear those two agencies with different levels of reporting (to the Minister of Defence and the Chief of the General Headquarters) were practically unable to make coordinated decisions concerning the organization and management principles for various intelligence units, control over their activities, definition and amount of their responsibilities etc, without duplicating each other.
This posed major obstacles on the way to creation of a modern, effective defence intelligence system. Therefore, the leadership of both agencies made their suggestions on the establishment of a unified central defence intelligence authority.
On July 6, 1993, the Decree of the President of Ukraine gave start to merging of the Intelligence Directorate of the General Headquarters and the Strategic Military Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine into the Main Military Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.
On April 14, 1994, in compliance with the Decree of President of Ukraine, the Main Military Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine was renamed into the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU). Since that day, Ukraine’s comprehensive, effective, and multilevel military intelligence system began developing.
On March 22, 2001, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ratified the Law of Ukraine “On Intelligence Agencies of Ukraine”. The Defence Intelligence of Ukraine was granted the status of a special government authority.
Because new threats to Ukraine’s national interests never stop emerging, and world nations’ foreign priorities keep changing, the DIU leadership pays extra attention to maintaining and improving of DIU staff’s professionalism, development of the infrastructure. New areas of interests are constantly researched, international cooperation is actively maintained. In addition, the DIU directly contributes to the development of Ukrainian legislature on a regular basis.
Due to the persistent work of leadership and workforce, the DIU is a well-organized, successful, and respected agency.