Two soldiers detained over allegedly attempting to assassinate Zelensky

By Esther Muhozi
On 8 May 2024 at 11:28

Ukraine has apprehended two security officials suspected of involvement in alleged Russian plan to kill President Volodymyr Zelensky, thwarted by Ukraine’s state security service (SBU).

Accusations were made against two colonels from Ukraine’s government protection unit for engaging in "subversive activities against Ukraine for monetary gain," stated by the office of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General on Tuesday.

Both officials were indicted for treason; additionally, one was implicated in planning a terrorist act.

According to the prosecutor’s office, one suspect was found possessing two drones and ammunition supplied by Russia’s FSB, intended for delivery to another collaborator to execute a bombing.

The SBU disclosed that it had disrupted the "actively evolving plans" to assassinate Zelensky and other high-ranking Ukrainian officials, including SBU head Vasyl Maliuk and Kyrylo Budanov, the leader of Defence Intelligence of Ukraine.

The SBU noted that one objective of the FSB’s agent network was to identify military personnel close to the President’s security team who could abduct and subsequently assassinate him.

Reports suggest Zelensky has been the target of multiple assassination attempts since Russia’s comprehensive invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.

In August 2023, a woman from Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine was detained for her involvement in a plot to kill Zelensky. She allegedly collected information on Zelensky’s scheduled visit to Mykolaiv to coordinate a Russian airstrike aimed at his assassination. The SBU captured her attempting to relay intelligence to the enemy.

In April, a Polish individual was accused of aiding another purported Russian plot to assassinate Zelensky. He faced charges of preparing to act on behalf of foreign intelligence against the Republic of Poland, a crime punishable by up to eight years in prison.

The man purportedly agreed to inform Russian operatives about security measures at Rzeszów-Jasionka airport in southeastern Poland, frequently used by Zelensky for international departures. The conspiracy was exposed by Ukrainian authorities, leading to his arrest.