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Zelensky dismisses Chief Bodyguard after failed plot

Zelensky dismisses Chief Bodyguard after failed plot

Zelensky dismisses Chief Bodyguard after failed plot

Zelensky dismisses Chief Bodyguard after failed plot

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  • Authorities relieved Serhiy Rud of his duties. Rud has overseen the president’s security detail since 2019.
  • The plot aims to culminate with a “gift to Putin” before Zelensky’s fifth term as president.
  • President Zelensky has frequently replaced key figures in Ukraine’s security forces.
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Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s President, dismissed the head of his personal protection unit after authorities detained two of its top officials over an alleged assassination plot. They relieved Serhiy Rud of his duties. Rud has overseen the president’s security detail since 2019.

The announcement of the dismissal of Serhiy Rud, the head of Ukraine’s personal protection unit, came in a brief presidential decree without offering a reason. However, observers note that the State Guard administration (UDO) plays a critical role in ensuring the safety of not only the president but also other key figures in Ukraine and their families.

Authorities detained two colonels in the state guard on Tuesday on suspicion of belonging to a network of agents operated by Russia’s FSB security service.

Mr. Zelensky has publicly discussed repeated Russian plots to assassinate him, but the latest revelations implicate his entourage and also aim at targeting military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov and the head of the SBU state security service, Vasyl Malyuk.

This week, Mr. Malyuk revealed that the plot aimed to culminate with a “gift to Putin” before his fifth term as president commenced on Tuesday. The SBU stated that individuals close to President Zelensky’s bodyguard intended to kidnap and kill him, while attackers planned to target Mr. Budanov with rockets, drones, and anti-tank grenades.

There was no suggestion that Serhiy Rud, 47, had any link to the allegations, although one of the two detained colonels, Andriy Huk, was known to be a personal friend. Ukrainian reports indicated that they had studied together at the Border Troops Academy many years ago. Maj Gen Rud has dedicated most of his adult life to serving in Ukraine’s military, with a significant focus on state security throughout his career.

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Since the early hours and days of the full-scale invasion in February 2022, when Russian paratroopers attempted to land in Kyiv and assassinate President Zelensky, plots to assassinate him have been commonplace. The Ukrainian leader declared at the start of the invasion that he was Russia’s “number one target.”

President Zelensky has often replaced key figures in Ukraine’s security forces, and on Thursday, he also announced the relocation of the commander of special forces, Col Serhiy Lupanchuk, from his role only months into the job.

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Two Ukrainian government protection unit colonels were arrested in connection with the...

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