The polygraph has been a vital tool in Ukraine for over 25 years, mirroring its development trajectory in the United States and Russia. Initially utilized in government departments, its application gradually expanded to the civilian sector. The 2014 war between Russia and Ukraine significantly accelerated the development and adoption of polygraph technology due to heightened security threats.

Key Developments in Polygraph Application

Establishment of a National School

Ukraine has developed a comprehensive national school for polygraph training, offering both state and commercial courses. This initiative ensures that polygraph examiners are well-trained and adhere to high standards of practice.

Domestic Polygraph Development

The Rubicon polygraph, a domestically developed tool, has been tested and proven effective in both state and commercial applications. Its quality matches international standards, providing a reliable option for Ukrainian examiners.

Formation of Public Organizations

Several public organizations have been established to support polygraph examiners, including:

  • The All-Ukrainian Association of Polygraph Examiners, boasting over 600 members.
  • The Collegium of Polygraph Examiners, with around 100 members.

Introduction of StimulTest

Developed in Ukraine, the online system StimulTest aids polygraph examiners in improving their work quality and reducing examination time.

Creation of State Standards

Ukraine has established a state standard for polygraphs, which is now incorporated into most government departments and the judicial system for conducting forensic psychological examinations.

Application Conditions

To conduct polygraph research in Ukraine, the following conditions must be met:

  • The polygraph examiner must possess a state-certified qualification.
  • The polygraph must comply with the national state standard.
  • Research methods must be reliable, adapted to Ukrainian specifics, and approved by professional communities in Ukraine.

Specific Application Contexts

From 2014 to 2021, during the war with Russia, the use of polygraphs was maximized to enhance state security. This trend continued and intensified with the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022, mobilizing polygraph examiners from various sectors to support national security efforts.

Popularity and Availability of Polygraphs

Rubicon Polygraph

  • Produced in Ukraine since 2014, with service centers in Odessa and Kyiv.
  • All units are user-purchased, with repair times ranging from 1-3 days.
  • Constant hardware and software improvements.
  • Average price: $3,500.

Axciton Polygraph

  • Manufactured in the USA, with more than 90% supplied free of charge through US donor programs.
  • No service center or repair facility in Ukraine.
  • Hardware and software improvements occur every few years.
  • Average price: $5,000.

Lafayette Polygraph

  • Manufactured in the USA, with all units purchased by users.
  • Service center in Kyiv, with repair times of 10-30 days.
  • Annual hardware and software improvements.
  • Average price: $7,000.

Polygraph Research Methods

Voltage Peak Method (VPM)

Popular for obtaining indicative information in crime investigations, often used in a modified format by the Ukrainian school.

Method of Control Questions (MCQ)

Traditionally used by specialists with polygraphs from the USA or Canada, adhering to the classical American school format.

Neutral and Probing Question Method (NPQM)

An alternative to the MPQM, offering better results in shorter study times and used in a modified Ukrainian school format.

Integration of New Technologies

StimulTest

Developed in Ukraine in 2011, used for rapid identification of risk groups among large numbers of suspects by government and commercial professionals.

Profiling

Utilized mainly in personnel selection and investigations, applicable by both government and commercial professionals.

EyeDetect

Employed by specialists with polygraphs from the USA or Canada for handling large groups of suspects and ensuring personnel security, predominantly used by commercial specialists.

Future of Polygraph Technology

Brain Activity Integration

Integrated into Rubicon polygraph software, allowing the registration of physiological brain activity using the Canadian-made MuseS neurogadget. This client-server application uses artificial intelligence to achieve over 85% accuracy, with data storage reliability confirmed by an information security certificate.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is used for high-quality calculation of polygraph examination results. Hosting the AI server remotely enhances the effectiveness of this technology, with the Rubicon manufacturer already implementing such an application.

Visual Activity

Implemented in EyeDetect technology, functioning as a client-server application. This personal toolkit requires specialized equipment and works with one respondent at a time, although data storage reliability remains uncertified.

The Implementation of DSTU 8692:2016 in Ukraine: A New Standard for Polygraphs

On January 20, 2017, a significant milestone was achieved in the field of polygraphy in Ukraine. The national standard of technical specifications for polygraphs, known as DSTU 8692:2016, was officially put into effect by the national standardization authority, the State Enterprise “Ukrainian Research and Training Center of Standardization, Certification and Quality.” This new standard sets rigorous guidelines for the procurement, calibration, and usage of polygraphs in Ukraine, ensuring their reliability and accuracy in various applications.

Key Provisions of DSTU 8692:2016

Compliance with National Standards

According to the Law of Ukraine “On Public Procurements,” any products procured with budgetary funds must comply with national standards. From January 20, 2017, polygraphs purchased for use in Ukraine must adhere to DSTU 8692:2016. Additionally, under the Law of Ukraine “On Sanctions,” polygraphs and their specialized software are not included in the list of goods banned for public procurements.

Forensic Examination Standards

The Ministry of Justice’s instructions on conducting forensic examinations stipulate that experts must use appropriate research methods, legal acts, and regulations, including national and international standards. Therefore, during forensic examinations involving polygraphs, compliance with DSTU 8692:2016 is mandatory.

Technical Specifications and Calibration Requirements

Multi-Channel Control and Measurement System

DSTU 8692:2016 defines a polygraph as a multi-channel control and measurement system. Manufacturers must specify all measurement parameters in the metric system used in Ukraine. According to the Law of Ukraine “On Metrology and Metrological Activity,” polygraph manufacturers must have their devices verified in specialized calibration centers.

Calibration Standards

The standard mandates that sensors used in polygraphs must be calibrated in accordance with DSTU 2708, the national standard for the calibration of measuring equipment. This ensures that the sensor readings meet the specifications declared by the manufacturer. Additionally, the calibration interval for the data recording and processing unit should be at least one year. Users must conduct annual calibrations of the polygraph’s technical parameters and sensors through the manufacturer or an authorized representative.

Forensic Examination Protocols

Forensic examinations using polygraphs require calibration of measurement parameters both before and after the research procedures. This double calibration ensures compliance with the manufacturer’s criteria and maintains the accuracy of the examination results.

Sensor Requirements

DSTU 8692:2016 specifies that polygraphs must include at least five major sensors to register various physiological parameters. These sensors include:

  • Upper (thoracic) respiratory activity
  • Lower (diaphragmatic) respiratory activity
  • Electro-dermal activity (phasic and tonic components)
  • Peripheral blood activity (plethysmogram)
  • Motor activity (tremor of the body)

Special attention is given to the electro-dermal activity sensor, which must measure the tonic component to objectively assess the respondent’s psycho-emotional state during the examination.

Information Protection Standards

When conducting polygraph examinations involving confidential or classified information, the polygraph system must comply with DSTU 3396.2 for technical protection of information. This includes having a certified information security system in place to protect sensitive data.

Comparative Analysis with American ASTM E2439

A comparative analysis of Ukrainian DSTU 8692:2016 and American ASTM E2439 reveals no fundamental differences between the two standards. However, DSTU 8692:2016 provides much more detailed provisions over 28 pages, compared to the 2 pages of ASTM E2439. For instance, while ASTM E2439 states that polygraphs must record respiratory, electrodermal, and cardiovascular activity, DSTU 8692:2016 provides a comprehensive list of specific measurement parameters and requirements.

Conclusion

The implementation of DSTU 8692:2016 marks a significant advancement in the field of instrumental lie detection in Ukraine. This new regulatory standard ensures that all polygraph examiners and entities involved in the procurement and usage of polygraphs adhere to the highest levels of accuracy and reliability. By complying with DSTU 8692:2016, Ukraine sets a benchmark for polygraphy, aligning with international best practices while addressing specific national requirements.

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