Russia has chosen Aleksandr Yakimenko, the ex-chief of the Ukrainian Security Service from the times of pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych who is under Ukrainian sanctions, to head the security “agency” in south-Ukraine’s occupied Kherson Oblast, the Kherson local media Most reported and Ukrainska Pravda confirmed.
Back in early August, Most, citing its own sources, wrote that Aleksandr Yakimenko was appointed as the head of the “special service” of the occupied territories of Kherson Oblast, seized by Russia in February 2022 and annexed in a sham “referendum” on 30 October.
Confirmation of this was found several days ago in the Russian Unified State Register of Legal Entities, where on 22 December, the Russian occupiers registered the “State Security Service of the Kherson Oblast.” The register has “located” this service in the building of the Commerical Court at vul Teatralna 18 in the city of Kherson, which Ukrainian forces liberated in November, and Yakimenko is indicated as its chief.
It is unclear where Yakimenko currently is, because all the quisling officials fled Kherson ahead of the successful offensive of the Ukrainian army in November.
A citizen of Russia, Yakimenko was born in Estonia and worked as a Security Service chief in Crimea and Donetsk Oblast before they were occupied by Russia. In 2012, he was appointed as head of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) in violation of procedures. Under his guidance, the SBU’s Alfa Unit participated in the Ukrainian government’s crackdown on Euromaidan protesters in 2013-2014. After the uprising won, Yakimenko fled to Russia, following then-president Viktor Yanukovych.
He is wanted in Ukraine on suspicion of attempting to suppress the Euromaidan protests, under Ukrainian sanctions, and was arrested in absentia by a Kyiv court.