Klystrons are specialized linear-beam vacuum tubes, used as amplifiers for high radio frequencies, from UHF up into the microwave range. Low-power klystrons are used as oscillators in terrestrial microwave relay communications links, while high-power klystrons are used as output tubes in UHF television transmitters, satellite communication, radar transmitters, and to generate the drive power for modern particle accelerators. Their absence can significantly increase the recovery time of military equipment that covers airspace and important strategic objects
Investigators of the State Bureau of Investigation have conducted searches in three anti-aircraft missile brigades of the Air Force, as a result of which klystrons were seized.
The AFU Air Force Command told about the incident, posting on its Facebook page a message with the headline: “The State Bureau of Investigation is delivering another blow to the country's air defense system.” In a while, the publication was deleted. Soon the seized equipment was returned, and the State Bureau of Investigation began to investigate the legitimacy of the actions of its own employees.
Searches and seizure
“On July 1, 2020, representatives of the investigative territorial department of the State Bureau of Investigation in the city of Khmelnytsky arrived in the anti-aircraft missile brigade of the Air Force (military unit A2860),” the Air Force Command said in a statement.
As a result, the State Bureau of Investigation employees drew up an inspection report and seized four microwave devices (klystrons) and the corresponding accompanying documentation.
The same procedural actions were carried out in anti-aircraft missile brigades in the Odesa region (military unit A2800) and Kherson (military unit A1836).
“It looks like this is someone’s planned action aimed at undermining the defense of the state. At that time, when the enemy deployed a huge group of troops on the border with Ukraine as part of the Caucasus-2020 large-scale military exercises, where the scenario of a full-scale attack on Ukraine, state institutions allow themselves such things,” said the Air Force Command.
Later, the corresponding message disappeared from the department’s Facebook page, but journalists managed to take screenshots. They were published by Liga.net.
Soon after, the Armed Forces Air Force Command issued a new message stating that all klystrons would be returned “due to resonance, lively discussion in society, and understanding of the leadership of law enforcement agencies.”
The investigators were guided by the permission of the Khmelnytsky city district court to "inspect the military unit and the air defense missile divisions repaired by it." According to the unofficial version, voiced by the media, in this way, law enforcement officers allegedly tried to collect incriminating evidence on the previous government.
Reaction of the State Bureau of Investigation
State Bureau of Investigation reported it initiated an internal investigation to find out the legitimacy of the actions of their employees. At this time, they were removed from their posts.
The department also specified that the seven klystrons, seized on July 1 as part of the searches, have already been returned to the military units.
Reaction of Zelensky and Minister of Defense
The press service of the President’s Office released a message in which Volodymyr Zelensky asked the heads of the State Security Service and the State Security Bureau to provide a legal assessment of the actions of the state security officials. The head of state "expressed deep concern" with their actions, which threatened the combat readiness of the Ukrainian air defense units.
For his part, Defense Minister Andriy Taran did not rule out the leak of secret information after the searches. During yesterday’s questions to the government in the Verkhovna Rada, he noted that the actions of the State Bureau of Investigation “led to the undermining of combat readiness” of Ukraine’s air defense.