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SBU says it foiled Russia's plot to assassinate Zelensky, 2 Ukrainian colonels detained

by Kateryna Denisova May 7, 2024 3:23 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky attends the 'Ukraine. Year 2024' forum on Feb. 25, 2024 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Oleksandr Gusev/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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The Security Service of Ukraine claimed on May 7 that it had uncovered a network of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) agents who were preparing the assassination of President Volodymyr Zelensky and other high-ranking officials in Ukraine.

Two colonels of Ukraine's State Security Administration (UDO) accused of leaking classified information to Russia were reportedly detained.

In late November, Zelensky said in an interview with The Sun that he had survived at least five assassination attempts since the start of Russia's full-scale war.

The FSB network aimed to find perpetrators among the military close to Zelensky's security, "who could take the head of state hostage and then kill him," according to the SBU.

The planned attack was supervised by Maxim Mishustin, Dmitry Perlin, and Alexey Kornev, who are employees of the FSB's fifth service, according to the SBU.

"The terrorist attack, which was supposed to be a gift to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin for his inauguration, was actually a failure of the Russian Secret Service," SBU chief Vasyl Maliuk said.

Other Russia's targets reportedly included Maliuk and Ukraine's military intelligence (HUR) head Kyrylo Budanov.

Budanov's assassination was allegedly planned to be carried out before Orthodox Easter, celebrated on May 5. A Russian agent was supposed to track Budanov's movements and pass the information to Russia, according to the SBU. One of the UDO colonels allegedly supplied the FSB agent with FPV drones, warheads for portable launchers, and anti-personnel mines.

The plan reportedly was to hit a house where the HUR chief was supposed to be with a missile, and then attack the people remaining at the site with drones. Then there was supposed to be another missile strike to eliminate the evidence of a drone attack, the SBU said.

In early April, the SBU reported that a joint operation by Ukrainian and Polish law enforcement agencies led to the detention of a Polish citizen who allegedly offered to Russia to assassinate Zelensky.

Polish, Ukrainian authorities expose Pole who allegedly offered to assassinate Zelensky for Russia
A joint operation by Ukrainian and Polish law enforcement agencies led to the detention of a Polish citizen who allegedly offered to Russian intelligence to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said on April 18.
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