Ukraine foils Russian assassination plot targeting Zelensky


Ukraine foils Russian assassination plot targeting Zelensky

(AFP) – Ukraine on Tuesday announced that it had detained two Ukrainian security officials involved in a plot coordinated by Russia to assassinate senior Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Two colonels in the State Guard of Ukraine, which protects top officials, were detained on suspicion of enacting the plan drawn up by Russia’s Federal Security Service, a statement said. The colonels were recruited before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, according to the statement.

It quoted the head of the State Security Service, Vasyl Maliuk, as saying the plot foresaw an attack ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a fifth term Tuesday. Maliuk said he oversaw the top-secret operation to track the plot.

Zelensky has been targeted by Russia on multiple occasions, including at the beginning of the Russian invasion in February 2022, according to Kyiv.

In the latest assassination plot, Ukrainian security officials said Russia had worked to identify individuals close to Zelensky’s security detail who could take the Ukrainian leader hostage and kill him. 

The two Ukrainian colonels were arrested on suspicion of treason, which carries a life sentence, the statement said.

Polish and Ukrainian prosecutors announced last month they had detained a man suspected of aiding a Russian assassination plot on Zelensky.

Last August, the SBU said a woman had been arrested over a plot to kill the Ukrainian leader by trying to uncover details of his movements outside Kyiv. 

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