Ukraine Foils Russian Plot to Assassinate Zelenskyy

( – Ukraine’s SBU State Security Service said they discovered and thwarted a Russian plot to kidnap and assassinate Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other senior government officials including head of the Security Service, Vasyl Malyuk, and Kyryll Budanov, the head of the state administration of Ukraine.

Two colonels in the State Guard of Ukraine who were recruited before Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022 were detained under suspicion of being moles. The statement from the SBU said they believe the plan involved Russian intelligence agents convincing members of Zelenskyy’s security team to kidnap the president and kill him. The plan concocted by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) also entailed obtaining the location of other top Ukrainian officials to coordinate a missile strike. Any subjects remaining would be attacked by a drone. Another missile would then be launched to destroy any traces of the drone.

Vasyl Maliuk said he personally handled the operation to track and foil the assassination plot. Zelenskyy said his life has been threatened so many times that he lost count. There were at least 10 attempts by Russia to assassinate the Ukrainian president in 2022. According to Maliuk, this most recent attempt by Russia to kill Zelenskyy was intended to be a “gift” for Vladimir Putin in advance of his upcoming inauguration.

A Polish man was arrested in Poland last month for allegedly preparing to spy for the Russian government in a plot to assassinate Zelenskyy. The two members of Zelenskyy’s personal security detail who were arrested, identified the Russian FSB agents involved in the plot as Maxim Mishustin, Dmytro Perlin, and Aleksii Kornev.

Mark Episkopos, a Eurasia Research Fellow, said the plot exposed “serious vulnerabilities” in Ukraine’s government. SBU spokesman, Artem Dehtiarenko said this is the first instance for high-ranking officials in the State Guard of Ukraine to become involved in any assassination plot as moles or contributors to the assassination attempt.

The war between Russia and Ukraine is in its third year and Zelenskyy is seen as an asset to Ukraine for giving his people hope.

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