Zelensky Assassination Plot Foiled, Two Colonels Arrested, Ukraine Intelligence Says

The Ukrainian government and intelligence services are claiming that a major assassination plot targeting President Volodymyr has been thwarted. The plot also allegedly aimed to take out other top military and political figures.

Ukraine’s state security service (SBU) unveiled the plot Tuesday in announcing the detention of two colonels in the State Guard of Ukraine said to be involved in the criminal conspiracy. The State Guard is responsible for protecting top political as well as military figures, somewhat akin to the Secret Service in the US.

Via Associated Press

If found guilty, the detained colonels would face a life sentence, or possibly a worse fate given the country is currently under martial law due to the long-running war.

The SBU is alleging Russian involvement, specifically claiming that a network of agents from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) had been “preparing the assassination of the president of Ukraine” and other senior officials.

“Counterintelligence were detained and SBU investigators foiled the plans of the FSB to eliminate the president of Ukraine and other representatives of the top military and political leadership of the state,” the SBU stated on Telegram.

Authorities say of the timing that the plot was intended to be initiated just prior to Russia’s Vladimir Putin being inaugurated for a fifth term as president on Tuesday. The Telegraph writes:

The failed kidnap and killing was supposed to be a ‘gift’ to Vladimir Putin ahead of his inauguration, the head of Ukraine’s secret service claimed.

The Kremlin has as expected denied these new accusations, as well as prior claims it orchestrated assassination attempts.

The SBU released photos showing arrests being made of alleged plotters.

According to more details of the foiled attempt via the Associated Press:

The Ukrainian statement said the Russian intelligence agents targeting Zelenskyy sought out members of the Ukrainian military close to the president’s security detail who could take the head of state hostage and later kill him. The operation was run from Moscow, it said, providing the names of three alleged Russian spies behind the conspiracy.

The broader plan was to identify the location of senior Ukrainian officials and target them with a rocket attack, followed by drones and missiles.

“The enemy’s plan was as follows: first, the recruited agent had to observe the movement of the person under guard and pass information to the enemy,” the SBU said.

In 2022, Zelensky claimed to have survived ten assassination plots which were uncovered before conspirators got close.

Ukraine is linking the assassination plot to Putin’s inauguration happening in Moscow:

An incident in early March was widely reported as a direct Russian attempt to take Zelensky’s life. At that time the Ukrainian leader had visited the port city of Odessa with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos. Russia reportedly sent missiles or drones against the city at the very moment of their visit.

Zelensky and Mitsotakis had described that explosions rang out while they toured Odesa. “We heard the sound of sirens and explosions that took place near us. We did not have time to get to a shelter,” Mitsotakis told reporters. Later reports of the incident claimed it was nothing less than a targeted assassination attempt.

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