Assassins have tried to kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at least three times since Russia invaded his country last week, according to a new report.
The assassination plots were foiled when anti-war Russians leaked information to Ukraine about two separate mercenary groups planning the attacks The Times of London reports.
“I can say that we have received information from [Russia’s Federal Security Service]who do not want to take part in this bloody war,” Ukraine’s Minister of National Security and Defense told local TV channels, according to the Times.
The shadowy Kremlin-backed Wagner group was behind two of the attempts, the Times reported. If they had been or are successful, Moscow could deny direct involvement in the assassination plot.
“They would go there with a very high-profile mission, something the Russians want to deny — beheading a head of state is a huge mission,” a diplomatic source told the newspaper.
“In terms of implications for Russian sovereignty policy, this might be their biggest mission yet. It would have a major impact on the war.”
There are still more than 400 members of the Wagner group in Kyiv after its members infiltrated Ukraine with a “kill list” of 24 officials whose death would wreak havoc in Ukraine’s government, sources told the Times.
Zelensky, 44, also dodged an assassination attempt on the outskirts of Kyiv on Saturday when a group of Chechen assassins were knocked out before they could reach Ukraine’s charismatic leader, an actor-turned politician who defiantly opposed Russian leader Vladimir Putin has expressed.
At the start of the conflict last week, the US offered to evacuate Zelensky, 44, from Kyiv while the siege unfolded but he refused.
“The fight is here; I need ammo, not a ride,” he said, according to the Associated Press.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/03/ukraine-president-zelensky-survived-three-assassination-attempts/ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy survived three assassination attempts