This article is outdated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(March 2014)
State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Державна Прикордонна Служба України, Derzhavna Prykordonna Sluzhba Ukrayiny; abbr. ДПСУ, DPSU) is the border guard of Ukraine. It is an independent law enforcement agency of special assignment, the head of which is subordinated to the President of Ukraine.
The Service was created on July 31, 2003 after the reorganization of the State Committee in Affairs for Protection the State Border. All the activities of the agency as well as the Sea Guard are regulated by the State Committee in Affairs for Protection of the State Border (shortly DerzhKordon).[clarification needed] During wartime, units of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine fall under the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine includes the Ukrainian Sea Guard (the country's coast guard). It is also responsible for running "Temporary Detention Centres", in which refugees are held.
The current head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine is Colonel-General Mykola Mykhailovych Lytvyn (brother of Volodymyr Lytvyn). There are two first deputies: Colonel-General Pavlo Shysholin, responsible for Border Security, and Colonel-General Mykhaylo Koval, responsible for personnel/staffing.
Ukrainian border guards are the national successors of the Soviet Border Troops. They were formed from the approximately 17,000 Border Troops located in Ukraine. In 1991, the organisation was first titled the "Ukrainian Border Troops", which was later subordinated to the "Ukraine's State Committee for State Border Guarding".
From 1991 to at least 1993, the new borders with Russia and Belarus were not guarded; the Border Troops were only deployed along the western borders (minus Moldova) and on the Black Sea. Another 9,000 personnel were added to the Border Troops at the expense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and, by the end of 1993, border posts were established in the north along the Russian and Belarusian borders. In 1999, the authorised strength of the force was again increased to 50,000.
In 2003, new legislation was adopted, and this somewhat changed the legal status of the institution. In March 2003, the Border Troops became the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, and its status was legally changed from 'military formation' to 'special law-enforcement body.' The force was legally granted 50,000 personnel, including 8,000 civilian employees.
On 4 July 2012, a State Border Guard Service Diamond DA42 aircraft failed to make its scheduled radio contact with ground units. A Search and rescue mission revealed that the plane had crashed into a wooded mountainous area in Velykyi Bereznyi Raion, killing all 3 crew members on board. A further investigation was launched.