Ukraine says a plot to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky was foiled by Russian spies who were secretly working against Putin

Business Insider

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A Ukrainian security and defense chief said on Tuesday that Ukrainian forces had thwarted an assassination plot against President Volodymyr Zelensky with help from members of Russia’s security services.

A Telegram post published Tuesday by Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications cited Oleksiy Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, as saying that an elite group of Chechen special forces — known as the Kadyrovites — was dispatched by Russia to “eliminate our president” but was “destroyed directly.” Axios first reported the story.

Per the post, Danilov said Ukraine had “received information” about the plot against Zelensky from people in Russia’s Federal Security Service who “do not want to take part in this bloody war.”

The Federal Security Service, also known as the FSB, is a successor to the KGB.

“And thanks to this, I can say that Kadyrov’s elite group was destroyed directly, which came here to eliminate our president,” Danilov said.

He added that the assassins were split into two groups, with one destroyed in the town of Hostomel, just northwest of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and the other “under fire.”

Several reports and rumors of assassination attempts against Zelensky have emerged since Russia invaded Ukraine last Thursday. Zelensky himself said that “enemy sabotage groups” had entered Kyiv and that he was their “number one target,” though he insists on remaining in the capital.

On Monday, The Times of London reported that The Wagner Group, a Russian paramilitary group allied with President Vladimir Putin, flew 400 mercenaries into Kyiv to assassinate Zelensky in return for what the outlet described as a “handsome financial bonus.”

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