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Ukraine claims to thwart Russian plot to kill Zelensky and other top officials

Ukraine’s State Security Service revealed that it apprehended two Russian agents planning the assassination of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other high-ranking officials as a “gift” for Vladimir Putin on the occasion of his new term inauguration in the Kremlin on Tuesday.

According to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the two individuals, both colonels in Ukraine’s state guard service, were recruited by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and leaked classified information to Moscow.

Their mission, as outlined by the SBU on Telegram, involved identifying someone within the presidential guard who would take Zelenskyy hostage and subsequently assassinate him. The statement did not specify when the alleged plot was thwarted.

“The terrorist attack, intended as a gift to Putin for the inauguration, was a failure thanks to the Ukrainian security services,” said SBU chief Vasyl Maliuk, as reported by the agency on Telegram.

There was no immediate response from Moscow. Last month, the Kremlin declined to comment on the arrest in Poland of an individual accused of collaborating with Russian intelligence to plan an assassination attempt on Zelenskyy.

The SBU revealed that the spy group also aimed to “eliminate” Maliuk and Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the military intelligence agency. Budanov’s assassination was planned before Orthodox Easter Sunday on May 5.

Furthermore, the agents sought to provide the Russian side with Budanov’s whereabouts to enable missile and drone attacks at the location. One of the detained individuals was involved in transporting and storing drones and explosives for the operation, the SBU added.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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