In memory of the founder and President of “Borysfen Intel” Centre
Doctor of Military Sciences
Hvozd Victor Ivanovych
A year has passed since the tragic death of Victor Hvozd, President of the “Borysfen Intel” Independent Analytical Center for Geopolitical Studies. It is still difficult for Victor Ivanovych’s true friends and colleagues to accept his death: this is always the case when we lose friends with whom we have long been concerned with truly important matters, especially in defending Ukraine’s independence. Especially since he, as a military intelligence officer, had a direct relationship with it, regardless of the position he held and where he happened to perform his official duties.
We have no doubt that if he had not had a tragic accident, he would be at the forefront today, along with those who repulse the attacks of the insidious enemy. And he would do it with such zeal and responsibility as it once was on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square in Kyiv) during the Revolution of Dignity. This is exactly what we think, because we have always been convinced of his zeal when it came to a sacred theme for every true Ukrainian — Ukrainian statehood, on which our enemies encroached in the past centuries and encroach today.
No matter who summarizes the achievements of Victor Ivanovych, no matter how meticulously he turns the pages of his destiny, but in the end he will have to agree that he was an extraordinary man who was able to reach great heights. As a military, he earned the honorary rank of Lieutenant General; as a scientist, he was Doctor of Military Sciences and Honored Lawyer of Ukraine. As an intelligence officer, Victor Ivanovych managed to lead the activities of two security services — the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, which was a unique case for our country and adds to his personality.
He began his military service in the 1980s in the former Trans-Baikal Military District, where he was alternately appointed translator of a separate reconnaissance battalion, commander of the reconnaissance company of a motorized rifle regiment, commander of the reconnaissance company of a separate reconnaissance battalion.
At that time, the leadership of the USSR trusted people from Western Ukraine to serve in distant lands. Only those like him could carry out the assigned tasks and prove to the command that it did not make a mistake with the appointment and should give the worthy ones the opportunity to prove themselves in more responsible positions.
Victor Ivanovych was one of those who showed promise in military service and later was able to prove it in the honorable positions of officer of the command and intelligence center and intelligence center of the Intelligence Directorate of the Carpathian Military District. After all, few of his colleagues could boast of knowledge of several foreign languages or be ready to go without hesitation to the certain regions to perform difficult and sometimes dangerous tasks. One of the first such tasks was to serve as a peacekeeping officer in the 1993–1995 as part of a UN peacekeeping mission in the former Yugoslavia.
Although about thirty years have passed since then, many of us have not forgotten Ukrainian peacekeeper Victor Hvozd’s service, who, along with foreign colleagues, oversaw peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia, oversaw hostile parties in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, fully supported the Ukrainian peacekeeping contingent in Yugoslavia.
His perseverance and professionalism were so desperate and effective that all colleagues supported and welcomed his appointment as Defense Attaché at the Ukrainian Embassy in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (concurrently). At that time, in addition to Chinese, he was fluent in English, Croatian, and Serbian, not to mention Russian or Polish.
His further appointment as a Representative of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine to the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations and soon as a member of the Ukrainian delegation to the UN Security Council was logical and undeniable. Victor Ivanovych was always ready to perform (and did perform!) most important tasks for the Motherland, which is why he was noticed by the leadership of the country and foreign colleagues. And the Ukrainian diaspora considered it appropriate to invite him to their events, among other things — to demonstrate that Ukraine has real officers who can be envied by foreign partners.
In January 2008, Victor Hvozd was appointed Chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. Under his leadership, the structure of the Main Intelligence Directorate was significantly improved.
As a result of the restructuring and intensification of the activities of all military intelligence units of Ukraine, Main Intelligence Directorate raised its international cooperation on the full range of security issues to a new level, which allowed to expand the fight against modern threats. However, due to disagreements with the then military-political leadership of Ukraine on national security and defense, the development of military intelligence and the Armed Forces, in August 2010 Lieutenant General Victor Hvozd resigned from the Armed Forces.
During the Revolution of Dignity, together with reliable like-minded colleagues, he took care of Maidan security issues, repeatedly spoke from its rostrum, including on December 1, 2013 at the request of Ukrainian intelligence veterans, met with foreign politicians, foreign media, who later published his interviews.
With the annexation of Crimea in February 2014, the government appointed Victor Hvozd Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for the activities of Ukrainian intelligence, and later — Chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine and a member of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, which became another important page in his biography, when he, thanks to his professionalism, managed in a short time to perform the necessary amount of important tasks and unite subordinates around the cause of defending Ukrainian statehood.
In Ukraine, he was the first to head two intelligence agencies: military intelligence, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, and political intelligence, the Foreign Intelligence Service. During the most difficult years of annexation of Crimea and Russian military aggression in the East of Ukraine, he managed to restructure the Foreign Intelligence Service, in particular to introduce new approaches in its activities, when difficult and serious management decisions are made to carry out necessary changes and reforms in the Foreign Intelligence Service, and to improve the system of information and analytical support for decision-making of the top military and political leadership of the state.
At the initiative and under the leadership of Victor Hvozd, we managed to improve the legal framework for the organization and activities of intelligence agencies in the face of Russia’s armed aggression, restore the trust of NATO partners lost in previous years, and begin the process of Ukraine’s full membership in the Euro-Atlantic intelligence community.
At the same time, Victor Ivanovych did care about the work of the “Borysfen Intel” Independent Analytical Center for Geopolitical Studies, which he founded with like-minded people two years before those turbulent events. After all, the Center continued to operate and became a prominent analytical structure that defended the position of Ukrainian statehood in the tense opposition to the enemies of Ukraine.
Having returned to the post of President of “Borysfen Intel”, Victor Hvozd gave a new impetus to research work and, as a result, he cooperated with foreign researchers and scientists. As a speaker, Victor Ivanovych regularly participated in the important international security conferences both in Ukraine and abroad.
Victor Hvozd’s scientific work is a separate story. In 2013 he defended his thesis for the Ph.D. in Military Sciences, and in 2019 — of Doctor of Military Sciences with topic “Military Security of the State”, became the author of more than three dozen scientific works. In fact, he was the first in Ukraine to raise the issue of the legal field of intelligence activities, which was not the case not only in our country, but also in all countries of the former Soviet Union. It is not for nothing that his monograph “Historical, Legal and Political Aspects of the State’s Intelligence Activity” (2018) was so popular with readers in Ukraine and abroad, and in addition, there was a proposal to translate it into foreign languages. And even more, taking into account the advice of experts, the author finalized and supplemented it with several sections and prepared for republishing, planning to do so in the first half of 2021. But did not have time to…
Reprinting the book has become one of the main priorities of the members of the “Borysfen Intel” Center. We are confident that this will be possible, as happened with Victor Hvozd’s first book “Ukraine’s Military Intelligence at the Turn of the Third Millennium”, which was published in 2017 and became a desktop for both veterans and the young generation of Ukrainian intelligence officers, who in the confrontation with the enemy are proving that their being right, as did the book’s author during his military service.
Among the many positive features of his character, we can’t help mentioning his humanity inherent in Ukrainians. It was his humanity that helped Victor Hvozd overcome significant obstacles in life, earning the respect of both his associates and opponents.
Victor Ivanovych’s public activity is also well known. Thus, from 2017 he had been teaching his annual author’s course at the National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, later — at the National Aviation University. He had was repeatedly invited to the National Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine, the Military Diplomatic Academy and other higher educational institutions of Ukraine. His experience, professionalism and personal charisma had aroused considerable interest from national and international media. Victor Ivanovych was often invited to radio and television studios, where he professionally commented on historical and current events on national security, intelligence, and geopolitics.
Ukraine awarded the merits of Lieutenant General Victor Hvozd with the Order of Merit III class for significant personal contribution to strengthening national security and defense capabilities of the Ukrainian state and exemplary military service, as well as the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi III class for special services in defense of the state’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, strengthening the defense capabilities and security of Ukraine.
Once again, if Victor Ivanovych had avoided the tragic event that led to his death a year ago, we would now see him in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, where his knowledge, professionalism and combat experience would inspire our defenders…
Our honor and memory is eternal, Victor Ivanovych!
“To Gather All”. Dedicated to the bright memory of Victor Hvozd
The song “To Gather All” is dedicated to the defenders of Ukraine who died for its independence.
The tragic death of Victor Ivanovych Hvozd became a creative impetus for the completion of the work on the song.
The author of the song (music and lyrics) Lyudmila Poberezhets is the daughter of an officer, participant in combat and peacekeeping operations.
Performer Pavlo Sklyarov — singer, winner of international and national competitions and festivals.
Arranger Oleksandr Mashevskyi — composer, arranger, pianist.