Sun, 19 May 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Two Ukrainian security officials detained over Zelensky assassination plot  

Update : 07 May 2024, 18:53

Two Ukrainian security officials have been detained for planning to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to the country’s State Security Service (SBU).

Two Ukrainian government protection unit colonels have been detained and are accused of leaking classified information to Russia, the SBU said Tuesday, after it “exposed a network of agents” belonging to Russia’s state security service (FSB).

The SBU said it had “foiled” the “actively developing plans” to assassinate Zelensky.

“One of the tasks of the FSB’s agent network was to find perpetrators among the military close to the President’s security who could take the Head of State hostage and then kill him,” the SBU said.

The SBU said the assassination plans also targeted other senior Ukrainian officials, including the head of the SBU, Vasyl Maliuk, and the head of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov.

Zelensky has reportedly faced several attempts on his life since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

A woman from the southern Ukrainian region of Mykolaiv was arrested in August 2023 in connection to a plot to assassinate Zelensky. She was accused of gathering intelligence about Zelensky’s planned visit to Mykolaiv in order to plan a Russian airstrike to kill him. The SBU said it caught the woman “red-handed” as she tried “to pass intelligence to the invaders.”

In April, a Polish man was accused of assisting another alleged Russian assassination plot against Zelensky. He was charged with “readiness to act for foreign intelligence against the Republic of Poland,” an offense which carries up to eight years in prison.

Prosecutors said the man agreed to provide information to Russian spies about security at Rzeszów-Jasionka airport, in southeastern Poland near the border with Ukraine, which Zelensky is known to use when leaving on foreign trips. The plot was uncovered by Ukrainian authorities and the man was later detained and charged in Poland.

Aside from assassination plots, Zelensky has experienced a number of close shaves during his many visits to the front lines and cities under Russian bombardment.

During a visit to the coastal city of Odesa in March, a Russian missile exploded close to a convoy carrying Zelensky and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The group felt the impact of the strike, which landed around 500 meters away from the convoy, and saw a “mushroom cloud” of smoke. Five people were killed in the strike, although neither Zelensky nor Mitsotakis were injured.  Source: CNN 

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