Ukraine investigating possible surveillance of former US ambassador Marie Yovanovitch

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What you need to know: Marie Yovanovitch

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Ukrainian authorities have launched an investigation into possibly illegal surveillance of Marie Yovanovitch during her time as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, according to multiple reports.

The announcement came two days after Democratic lawmakers in the United States released a trove of documents that showed Lev Parnas, an associate of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, communicating about Yovanovitch's removal as the ambassador to Ukraine.

"Ukraine's position is not to interfere in the domestic affairs of the United States of America," officials with Ukraine's Interior Ministry said Thursday in a statement obtained by ABC News. "However, the published records contain the fact of possible violation of the legislation of Ukraine and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which protects the rights of a diplomat in the territory of another country."

Documents released Tuesday by Democrats included messages exchanged between Parnas and Robert F. Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate from Connecticut, according to The Washington Post. In them, Hyde said he was in contact with people who were watching Yovanovitch, the New York Times reported.

"Ukraine cannot ignore such illegal activities on its territory," the statement from Ukraine's Internal Affairs Ministry said, according to the Times. "After analyzing these materials, the National Police of Ukraine upon their publication started criminal proceedings."

Officials said they were working to determine whether any laws had been violated or whether, "It was just bravado and fake conversation between two U.S. citizens," the Times reported.

The Interior Ministry also said it has requested the FBI provide relevant materials. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov “suggested that the U.S. side take part in the investigation,” the statement said.

Yovanovitch became ambassador to Ukraine in 2016, a post she held until President Donald Trump recalled her from the position in May 2019. She testified during Trump's impeachment hearings in the House that she believed the president pressured the State Department to fire her.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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