Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch leaves during a break at a House Intelligence Committee impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington on November 15, 2019.

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch leaves during a break at a House Intelligence Committee impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington on November 15, 2019. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

KYIV, Ukraine - Ukrainian investigators launched an investigation into whether former U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was subjected to illegal surveillance during her time in Kiev because of pressure from Washington.

Yovanovitch testified before Congress in November as part of the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

She had opposed private efforts by the president and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to push Ukraine for dirt on former vice president Joe Biden, who is running in the 2020 election. She was removed from her post in the first half of 2019.

Trump's impeachment case hinges in part on allegations he withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Kiev into announcing an investigation that would have proven damaging to Biden.

Ukrainian investigators are looking into whether Ukraine violated protections for diplomats, police said.

Police did not rule out that the source of the allegations was "boasting or false information" from an informal discussion between two U.S. citizens.

Documents provided by Lev Parnas, a Trump associate, to the U.S. House Intelligence Committee include messages related to Yovanovitch's whereabouts. That committee has led the impeachment investigations against Trump.

Earlier this week, Ukraine's cyberpolice unit announced a probe into whether Russian intelligence services attempted to hack into Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company. Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president, sat on the board of that company between 2014 and 2019.

Visit Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) at www.dpa.de/English.82.0.html

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