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Putin's Ploy: Ukraine Thwarts Assassination Plot Against Zelensky Following Botched Kidnapping

Ukraine's President Zelensky Escapes Russian Assassination Attempt
Source: MEGA

Zelensky previously asserted surviving numerous assassination attempts since Putin's 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

May 8 2024, Published 11:08 a.m. ET

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Ukrainian authorities reportedly have thwarted a Russian scheme to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky by infiltrating his security detail.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) disclosed that it had apprehended Russian operatives linked to the FSB, Russia's intelligence agency, who had sought to penetrate the ranks of Zelensky's bodyguards with the intent of eliminating him and other key government figures.

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Confirming the plot, the SBU shared in a statement on Telegram: "Yes, the enemy was actively developing plans to eliminate President Volodymyr Zelensky."

The statement revealed that the FSB, based in Moscow, oversaw a network comprising two colonels who leaked classified Russian information. Among the network's objectives was recruiting individuals within the president's security circle to potentially seize and assassinate him.

Furthermore, the SBU disclosed that the Russian agents also targeted the agency's head, Vasyl Malyuk, and Kyrylo Budanov, the leader of Ukraine's military intelligence, along with other high-ranking officials. Their plan, including a foiled attempt to abduct Budanov, was slated to unfold just before Orthodox Easter celebrations on May 5.

Detailing the scheme, the SBU explained, "The enemy's plan was as follows: first, the recruited agent had to observe the movement of the person under guard and pass information to the enemy," according to a report in The Sun.

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This reconnaissance would precede a rocket strike on the targeted individual's residence, followed by drone attacks on those within the vicinity. Subsequently, another missile strike was intended to obliterate evidence of drone usage.

News of the thwarted plot coincides with Russian President Vladimir Putin's fifth inauguration, following contentious elections denounced by Western leaders as rigged. Zelensky previously asserted surviving numerous assassination attempts since Putin's 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

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Last November, Zelensky disclosed that the SBU had foiled "five or six" assassination plots. While the first was described as "very interesting," subsequent attempts were likened to managing a recurring challenge similar to dealing with a persistent illness like Covid.

Putin has faced accusations of orchestrating assassinations of political adversaries within Russia, with UK authorities attributing the attempted Novichok poisoning of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in March 2018 to Russia.

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