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KYIV UNCOVERS ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE PRESIDENT ZELENSKY

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…ARRESTS TWO OFFICERS

The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) said on Tuesday that an assassination attempt on Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky by the Russian government has been foiled.

As a result, two Colonels of the Ukrainian government protection unit, have been arrested.

SBU revealed that the two officers were part of a network of agents belonging to the Russian State Security Service aww (FSB).

They had reportedly been searching for willing “executors” among Mr. Zelensky’s bodyguards to kidnap and kill him, a Ukrainian security agency revealed.

Head of SBU, Vasyl Malyuk said the attack was supposed to be “a gift to Putin before the inauguration,” who (Russia’s Vladimir Putin) was sworn in for a fifth term as President at the Kremlin on Tuesday.

The operation turned into a failure of the Russian Special Services, Mr. Malyuk said.

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

Ever since Russian paratroopers attempted to land in Kyiv and assassinate President Zelensky in the early hours and days of the full-scale invasion, plots to assassinate him have been commonplace.

The Ukrainian leader said at the start of the invasion he was Russia’s “number one target”.

But this alleged plot stands out from the rest. It involves serving colonels, whose job it was to keep officials and institutions safe, allegedly hired as moles.

Other targets included military intelligence head Kyrylo Budanov and SBU chief Vasyl Malyuk, the agency added.

The group had reportedly planned to kill Mr. Budanov before Orthodox Easter, which this year fell on 5 May.

According to the SBU, the plotters had aimed to use a mole to get information about his location, which they would then have attacked with rockets, drones and anti-tank grenades.

The two Ukrainian officials are being held on suspicion of treason and of preparing a terrorist act.

The SBU said three FSB employees oversaw the organisation and the attack.

One of them, named 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 held “conspiratorial” meetings “in neighbouring European states” before the invasion with one of the Ukrainian colonels arrested.

In a released interrogation with one of the suspects, they can be heard describing how they were paid thousands of dollars directly by parcels or indirectly through their relatives. It is not clear whether he was speaking under duress or not.

Investigators insist they monitored the men throughout. We are unlikely to know how close they came to carrying out their alleged plan.

The plot may read like a thriller but it is also a reminder of the risks Ukraine’s wartime leader faces.

The Foreign Ministry in Kyiv condemned the move as showing “the desperation of the Russian state machine and propaganda.”

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