History of NABU

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine is a central executive agency with a special status responsible for preventing, detecting, terminating, investigating, and disclosing corruption and other criminal offenses within its jurisdiction. 


The establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau was one of the requirements set by the IMF and the European Commission for the relaxation of visa restrictions between Ukraine and the European Union. 

On Oct. 14, 2014, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law “On the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine”.

In January 2015 for the first time in the history of modern Ukraine an open competition for the position of director of a state agency was announced. 186 candidates applied for the position of Director of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine. The winner of the competition was Artem Sytnyk.

On April 16, 2015, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed two decrees: № 217/2015 – decree on founding the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine and №218/2015 — decree on appointing Artem Sytnyk the Bureau's Director. This provided a starting point for a new state agency. The first order signed by the NABU Director on 23 April 2015 approved the Bureau's structure and stuffing. On 24 April Gizo Uglava was appointed First Deputy Director. Later two more Deputy Directors were appointed: Anatoly Novak and Tetyana Varvarska.

On May 7, the Bureau was given premises in Kyiv.

On Sept. 16, 2020, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine recognized certain provisions of the Law of Ukraine “On the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine” as inconsistent with the Basic Law.

On Nov. 10, 2021, amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine" came into force to eliminate existing legal discrepancies. From now on, NABU is a central executive agency with a special status, which has retained its key operational principles: institutional independence and competence in investigating corruption and other criminal offenses.

In April 2022, Artem Sytnyk's term as the head of the Bureau ended.

On March 6, 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine appointed Semen Kryvonos as the Director of the National Bureau. He was selected during a transparent competition by a commission that included representatives of international organizations. He became the second Director of NABU.

Civil Oversight

Transparency and public control of the NABU's work are ensured with the help of the Civil Oversight Council established by the presidential decree №272/2015 of 15 May 2015. The Civil Oversight Council includes competent social activists selected yearly through online voting.

On June 5, 2015, fifteen members of the first Civil Oversight Council were selected through open online voting.

On June 8, the Council held its first meeting at which the decision was made to send Council members to the Competition committee conducting the competition for the Bureau's vacancies. This made it possible to begin the open competition. On 9 June, the NABU's Director approved the members of the first Competition committee.

Open competition

All the employees of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine, except for Deputy Directors, are appointed for positions based on the open competition results. At present there are three competition committees operating, each of them includes three Civil Oversight Council representatives. In the end of June first competition winners were appointed for positions. 

On Aug. 25, 2015, the first 70 detectives were selected for positions in the NABU. On 15 September they took the civil servant oath of office in the presence of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.

Start of work

On Nov. 30, 2015, the competition for the position of the Head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, on which the start of the NABU work depended, was over. Nazar Kholodnitskiy took the position.

On Dec. 4, 2015, the NABU detectives entered the first three criminal proceedings concerning the theft of state-owned companies’ funds to the value of 1 billion UAH into the Unified Register of Pre-Trial Investigations.