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Kyiv Claims Russian Plot to Assassinate Zelensky Has Been Foiled

President Zelensky (Credits: Los Angeles Times)

Two Ukrainian colonels, part of a government protection unit, have been arrested for allegedly being part of a network of agents working for the Russian State Security Service (FSB).

They were reportedly seeking to recruit “executors” among President Zelensky’s bodyguards to kidnap and kill him. This plot is mainly known as it involves serving colonels who were supposed to ensure the safety of officials and institutions.

Kyiv City (Credits: World Aquatics)

The Ukrainian leader has been a target of assassination attempts since the early days of the full-scale invasion in February 2022. This alleged plot aimed to kill not only Zelensky but also military intelligence head Kyrylo Budanov and SBU chief Vasyl Malyuk. The group planned to use a mole to obtain information about Budanov’s location and attack him with rockets, drones, and anti-tank grenades.

The SBU found various ordnance, including an anti-tank grenade, on the plotters. The attack was supposed to be “a gift to Putin” before his inauguration, according to SBU head Vasyl Malyuk. The operation failed, but Malyuk warned that the enemy should not be underestimated.

The two Ukrainian officials are being held on suspicion of treason and preparing a terrorist act. The SBU claims three FSB employees oversaw the organization and attack. One of them, Dmytro Perlin, had been recruiting “moles” since before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Zelensky (Credits: The Hill)

The plot highlights the risks Ukraine’s wartime leader faces. Last month, a Polish man was arrested for planning to aid a possible assassination of Zelensky.

Recently, Ukraine’s president appeared on the Russian interior ministry’s wanted list on unspecified charges, which Kyiv condemned as a sign of the “desperation of the Russian state machine and propaganda”.

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