The Department of Guard of the highest officials was established by the Presidential Decree № 40 on January 15, 1992 and was renamed into the Department of the State Guard (DSG) of Ukraine by the Presidential Decree № 34, on July 7, 1992. The Law of Ukraine “On the State Guard of the Government Bodies of Ukraine and the Officials” was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada in 1998. Before adoption of the law the DSG activity had been performed on the basis of the Statement on the Department of the State Guard of Ukraine adopted by the Presidential Decree № 17 on August 17, 1992.
According to the Article 1 of the Law of Ukraine “On the State Guard of the Government Bodies of Ukraine and the Officials” № 160/98-VR on March 4, 1998 state guard of the governmental bodies and the officials (further – state guard) – is a system of the organizational-legal, regime, operational-search, engineering and technical and other measures, accomplished by the special purpose governmental agencies aimed to ensure the normal functioning of the governmental bodies of Ukraine, safeguard of the officials and the objects specified by this Law.
In accordance with the Articles 10, 11 of the aforementioned Law, state guard is provided by the Department of the State Guard of Ukraine, that is a special-purpose law enforcement agency accountable to the President of Ukraine and subordinated to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. General structure and number of personnel of the Department of the State Guard of Ukraine are adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine upon the submission of the President of Ukraine.
Origination of first institutions intended to protect the officials and the governmental bodies dates back to the ancient times. So, safeguard of the monarchs and the warrior-kings in Ancient Greece was provided by “holy guard”, in Ancient Persia – by “immortal” corps, in Macedonia – by “somatophylakes”, in Ancient Rome – by “praetorian cohorts”.
And Ukraine was not an exception. At the same time with the process of the state formation of Ukraine the protection units were forming.
Historical records indicate that in the period of the Ukrainian Cossack Hetmanate the objectives of guarding the Hetmans, Hetmans’ residence, General Council of Officers, General Artillery, military chancellery, General Court were effectuated by dedicated hired infantry units (Serdiuk regiments). The Hetman paid out money for their service from the Hetman Treasury. The regiments were on complete supply and upon the submission of the Hetman.
Afterwards a separate company of the Hetman guard, organized from the Serdiuk regiments was termed as Zholdak company.