Ukrainian Security Chief dismissed amid foiled assassination plot

By Esther Muhozi
On 10 May 2024 at 12:51

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed the head of the country’s State Security Administration (UDO), Serhii Rud, just days after a Russian plot to assassinate the president was reportedly foiled. The dismissal was announced through a presidential decree, details of which were shared by Zelensky’s office. However, the decree did not specify the reasons for Rud’s removal, nor has a successor been announced.

This dramatic action follows closely on the heels of a startling revelation by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Earlier this week, the SBU disclosed that it had uncovered a plan orchestrated by agents of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) aimed at assassinating Zelensky along with several senior officials in Kyiv. According to the SBU, the plot involved insiders within the military closely connected to the UDO. These insiders allegedly intended to take Zelensky hostage and subsequently execute him.

Further complicating matters, two UDO colonels were detained in the aftermath of the plot’s discovery, raising serious questions about the integrity and security within the ranks tasked with protecting Ukraine’s top officials. The SBU shared these alarming details in a post on Telegram, though these claims have not been independently verified.

President Zelensky, in an interview with The Sun last November, remarked on the persistent threats he has faced from Moscow since the onset of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in February 2022. Kremlin officials, however, have consistently denied any intentions or actions aimed at eliminating Zelensky.

In related developments, the SBU reported last month that, in collaboration with Polish law enforcement, they thwarted another assassination attempt on Zelensky during his visit to Poland. A Polish citizen was arrested in Warsaw, accused of collaborating with Russia’s FSB to facilitate the president’s assassination. He faces charges of working for a foreign intelligence service.

The recent foiled plot involved not just the potential kidnapping and assassination of Ukrainian leaders but also included plans to use information provided by UDO-protected officials to coordinate missile strikes on locations frequented by Ukrainian dignitaries, as per SBU reports.

These unfolding events underscore the high-stakes security challenges facing Ukraine as it continues to navigate the turbulent waters of war and political intrigue. The dismissal of Serhii Rud from the UDO highlights the critical and ongoing adjustments needed within Ukrainian security forces to safeguard their highest offices against both internal and external threats.

Serhiy Rud was dismissed following a foiled attempt to kill Zelensky.