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Kyiv claims Russia plot to kill Zelensky

Kyiv claims Russia plot to kill Zelensky

Kyiv claims Russia plot to kill Zelensky

Kyiv claims Russia plot to kill Zelensky

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  • Two Ukrainian government protection unit colonels were arrested in connection with the plot.
  • SBU identifies them as part of a Russian State Security Service (FSB) network.
  • The attack was intended as a gift to Putin before his inauguration.
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The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) announced it has thwarted a Russian plot to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky and other high-ranking Ukrainian officials.

Authorities have arrested two colonels from the Ukrainian government protection unit in connection with the plot. The SBU stated that they were part of a network of agents belonging to the Russian State Security Service (FSB).

Reportedly, they had been searching for willing “executors” among Mr. Zelensky’s bodyguards to kidnap and kill him. The agency added that other targets included military intelligence head Kyrylo Budanov and SBU chief Vasyl Malyuk.

Reportedly, the group had planned to kill Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, Mr. Budanov, before Orthodox Easter, which fell on 5 May this year. According to the SBU, the group planned to use a mole to obtain information about his location, which they would then attack with rockets and drones.

According to the SBU, one of the officers who was later arrested had already purchased drones and anti-personnel mines.

SBU head Vasyl Malyuk stated that the attack was intended to be “a gift to Putin before the inauguration” – Vladimir Putin was sworn in as Russia’s president on Tuesday.

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Mr. Malyuk characterized the operation as a failure of the Russian special services.

“But we must not forget – the enemy is strong and experienced, he cannot be underestimated,” he added.

The two Ukrainian officials are under detention on suspicion of treason and preparing a terrorist act. The SBU stated that three FSB employees supervised the organization and the attack. One of them, identified as Dmytro Perlin, had been recruiting “moles” since before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Another FSB employee, Oleksiy Kornev, reportedly conducted “conspiratorial” meetings “in neighboring European states” before the invasion with one of the Ukrainian colonels arrested today.

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