Ukraine Says It Thwarted Zelenskyy Assassination Plot By Russia


Ukrainian counterintelligence investigators said Tuesday that they thwarted a plan by Russian agents to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other high-level officials. 

Two colonels in the State Guard of Ukraine, which protects top officials, were arrested on suspicion of treason for enacting the plan, Ukraine’s state security service said in a prepared statement, which added that the plot was drawn up by Russia’s Federal Security Service. 

Moscow did not immediately comment on the reports, which indicate that the colonels were recruited prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. 

“The terrorist attack, which was supposed to be a gift to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin for the inauguration, was indeed a failure of Russian special services,” Vasyl Maliuk, head of Ukraine’s State Security Service, told his agency via Telegram. 

The United States and most European Union countries skipped Putin’s 6th term swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday. 

The inauguration comes more than two years after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 

Zelenskyy said in 2022 that there had been at least 10 attempts to assassinate him. A Polish man was arrested in April on allegations of working with Russia’s GRU military intelligence on an alleged plot to assassinate the Ukrainian president. 

Zelenskyy is leading Ukraine’s effort to fight off Russia’s aggression as the war enters its third year. 

Overnight attack 

Russia’s defense ministry said Tuesday the country’s air defense shot down a Ukrainian drone over the Belgorod region.

The drone intercept was the second to take place over Belgorod in less than 12 hours, after Russian air defenses shot down another drone overnight.

Belgorod’s regional governor reported air sirens but no further information about damage from drone debris.

Belgorod, located along the border between Russia and Ukraine, is a frequent target of Ukrainian attacks.

Moscow threatens UK

Russia threatened Monday to strike British military targets inside Ukraine and elsewhere if Ukraine’s military uses British-supplied long-range missiles against Russian targets.

During a visit to Kyiv last week, Cameron said Ukrainian forces will be able to use British long-range weapons to strike targets inside Russia.

“Just as Russia is striking inside Ukraine, you can quite understand why Ukraine feels the need to make sure it’s defending itself,” Cameron said in an interview with Reuters last week.

Cameron also said that London did not put “caveats” on how Ukrainian forces use weapons supplied by Britain.

The Russian foreign ministry announced in a statement it had summoned British Ambassador Nigel Casey in Moscow and warned him that if Ukrainian forces use British-supplied weapons to strike Russia, Moscow could retaliate at “any U.K. military facility and equipment on Ukrainian territory and beyond.”

“The ambassador was urged to reflect on the inevitable catastrophic consequences of such hostile steps by London and to immediately refute in the strongest and most unequivocal manner the bellicose provocative statements by the head of the Foreign Office,” the statement said.

Russia also announced earlier that it was planning new nuclear weapons drills near Ukraine’s borders, citing “threats” made by Western leaders, including French leader Emmanuel Macron and British officials, and in response to NATO’s expansive military exercises close to the Russian borders.


The VOA is the Voice of America

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