Ivan Bakanov

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Ivan Bakanov
Іван Баканов
Баканов Іван (cropped).jpeg
Director of the Security Service of Ukraine
In office
29 August 2019 – 19 July 2022
PresidentVolodymyr Zelenskyy
Prime MinisterOleksiy Honcharuk
Denys Shmyhal
Preceded byVasyl Hrytsak
Succeeded byVasyl Maliuk (acting)
Member of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine
In office
28 May 2019 – 4 August 2022
Personal details
Born (1975-05-02) 2 May 1975 (age 47)
Kryvyi Rih, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
(now Ukraine)
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Servant of the People (2017-2019)
Spouse(s)Oksana Lazarenko
EducationKyiv National Economic University
Academy of Labor, Social Relations and Tourism [uk]; Specialty – “Court, advocacy and prosecution"
OccupationState security
CommitteesMember of the National Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy (2019–2022)
Military service
Allegiance Ukraine
Branch/service Security Service of Ukraine
Years of service2019–2022
RankUA shoulder mark 13.svg Senior lieutenant[1]
CommandsГУ -К- СБУ.svg Department "K" - Main Directorate for Combating Corruption and Organized Crime (2019)
Battles/wars2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

Ivan Hennadiyovych Bakanov (Ukrainian: Іван Геннадійович Баканов; born 2 May 1975) is a Ukrainian politician who, from 2019 to 2022, served as head of the Security Service of Ukraine,[2][3] which is the main intelligence and security agency of the Ukrainian government. Bakanov is also a close childhood friend of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.[4][5][6]

Bakanov was a member of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine from 2019 to 2022.

Previously, Ivan Bakanov was the leader of the Servant of the People party from 2017 to 2019.[7]


Ivan Bakanov was born in Kryvyi Rih. He is a childhood friend of Volodymyr Zelensky.[8][9] They studied together and later worked over different projects, in particular, Kvartal 95 Studio.[8]

Ivan Bakanov graduated from the Kyiv National Economic University (1997) and the Academy of Labor, Social Relations and Tourism (2006), specialty – “Court, advocacy and prosecution.

He was the head of the Kvartal 95 troupe from January 2013 and of Kvartal 95 Studio since December 2013.[10]

Ivan Bakanov was part of Volodymyr Zelensky's team during 2019 presidential campaign.[11] He was the leader of the Servant of the People party from 2017 to 2019.[7]

The October 2021 Pandora Papers revealed that before Zelensky's inauguration Bakanov, and his chief aide, Serhiy Shefir, operated a network of offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, and Belize. These companies included some that owned expensive London property.[8]

Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)[edit]

On 22 May 2019, President Zelensky appointed Bakanov the First Deputy Chief of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)⁣ – the Chief of the Main Directorate on Fight against Corruption and Organized Crime of the Central Department of the Security Service.[12]

Bakanov was appointed as a Member of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine on 28 May 2019.[13]

On 29 May, the SBU announced that Bakanov would hold the post of the Deputy Head of the Security Service of Ukraine since 3 June.[12] The reason for that was the vacation of the Head of the SBU Vasyl Hrytsak.[12]

Bakanov was awarded with the military rank of "lieutenant" in the end of May 2019 in order to have an access to classified information.[1] Bakanov declared he was not going to apply for further ranks.[1]

Member of the National Council on Anti-Corruption Policy (since 16 July 2019).[14]

Bakanov was officially appointed as the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine by parliament on 29 August 2019.[12]

Bakanov said during his address to the MPs:

Talking about the whole SBU reform, I suppose, we’ll need three years at least. Talking about first efficient steps, I presume, one year will be enough.

Ivan Bakanov in a meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy (2019).

The Security Service of Ukraine has conducted several notable operations under Bakanov's leadership. In particular, one of the leaders of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group Al-Bara Shishani, who had been hiding in Ukraine, was apprehended.[15]

Dozens of corruption schemes were exposed, costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars, especially in the defense sphere. 50 Ukrainian officials were convicted and 150 received notices of suspicion.[citation needed]

The SBU detained the largest in Ukraine's history contraband batch of tobacco, amounting to UAH 120 million.[citation needed]

The SBU became more focused on national security, counterintelligence, it systematically conducts special operations in eastern Ukraine, counteracts the activities of Russian hackers.[citation needed][according to whom?]

Bakanov himself said that the SBU should become more efficient – not only deal with the consequences, but also neutralize threats in the bud. A new law “On the SBU”, drafted under Bakanov's leadership, is according to its makers to gain such results. In February 2020 it was expected to be passed in spring 2020.[16] According to human rights lawyer Volodymyr Yavorsky the proposed law will “give virtually unlimited and uncontrolled powers to the SBU which are not typical for democratic countries.”[17]

He was dismissed as head of SBU by Zelenskyy on 17 July 2022.[18]

Bakanov was dismissed under Article 47 of the Disciplinary Statute of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which states:

"Non-performance (improper performance) of official duties, which caused human casualties or other serious consequences or created a threat of such consequences, is the basis for the removal of such a serviceman from the performance of official duties."

Later, a clarification was issued by the presidential office that Bakanov had actually been "suspended" (and not dismissed) pending an inquiry into the work of the SBU.[19] He was officially removed from his post on 19 July 2022, after a vote in Ukraine's parliament that was put forward by the Ukrainian President.[20]


Bakanov is married to Oksana Lazarenko, a former Russian citizen, who has lived and worked in Ukraine since 1998 and has permanent residence permit.[21] In June 2019, her husband stated that she is in line to get Ukrainian citizenship.[22] According to Bakanov's 2019 e-declarations, Oksana is, since 2019, a citizen of Ukraine.[23]

He has a son Artur, who was a student at Kyiv National Economic University as of 2019.


  1. ^ a b c "В СБУ розповіли про отримання Бакановим звання лейтенанта". Українська правда (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  2. ^ "Рада звільнила Баканова з посади голови СБУ". www.unian.ua (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2022-07-19.
  3. ^ UkrInform (August 29, 2019). "Ivan Bakanov heads Security Service of Ukraine". UkrInform. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  4. ^ "Зеленський назвав свого друга Баканова найчеснішим головою СБУ за час незалежності". LB.ua. Retrieved 2022-06-27.
  5. ^ "Люди Зеленського в СБУ. Їхні зв'язки, статки та «скелети в шафах» – дослідження". Радіо Свобода (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2022-06-27.
  6. ^ Balmforth, Tom; Hunder, Max (17 July 2022). "Zelenskiy sidelines close allies in Kyiv's biggest purge of war". Reuters. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Zelensky's Advisor Razumkov to head "Servant of the People" party". 112.international. May 27, 2019. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Pandora Papers Reveal Offshore Holdings of Ukrainian President and his Inner Circle, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (3 October 2021)
    "Revealed: 'anti-oligarch' Ukrainian president's offshore connections". The Guardian. 3 October 2021. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  9. ^ "У команді Зеленського назрів перший серйозний конфлікт – джерела". Ukrainska Pravda (in Ukrainian).
  10. ^ "Zelensky appoints Bakanov SBU's first deputy chief". Interfax-Ukraine. May 22, 2019. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  11. ^ "Zelenskyi presents his team two days before election". censor.net.ua. April 19, 2019. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d "Рада затвердила людину Зеленського на чолі СБУ".
  13. ^ Указ Президента України від 31 травня 2019 року № 340/2019 «Про склад Ради національної безпеки і оборони України»(in Ukrainian)
  14. ^ Указ Президента України від 16 липня 2019 року № 523/2019 «Про зміни у персональному складі Національної ради з питань антикорупційної політики»(in Ukrainian)
  15. ^ "Ukraine Detains Top Islamic State Commander". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  16. ^ "Bakanov submits to Ukrainian president draft new version of law on SBU". www.unian.info. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  17. ^ "Zelensky's proposed 'reform' of the Security Service fails badly on both reform and human rights". khpg.org. Retrieved Jul 18, 2022.
  18. ^ "УКАЗ ПРЕЗИДЕНТА УКРАЇНИ №499/2022". www.president.gov.ua. Retrieved 2022-07-17.
  19. ^ Reuters (2022-07-18). "Ukrainian security chief and prosecutor general suspended - senior official". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-07-18.
  20. ^ "Рада звільнила Баканова з посади голови СБУ". www.unian.ua (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2022-07-19.
  21. ^ "В.о. голови СБУ Баканов розповів про російське громадянство дружини". Українська правда. Retrieved Jul 18, 2022.
  22. ^ "Acting SBU chief Bakanov's wife has Russian citizenship | KyivPost - Ukraine's Global Voice". 13 June 2019.
  23. ^ "Золоті злитки, Історія ВКП(б) і "котик-муркотик". Чим здивували декларації депутатів і сбушників".

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