Sep 22, 2021 - World

Shots fired at adviser to Ukrainian president in assassination attempt

Serhiy Shefir (left) with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelrnskyy (right) and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk (middle) in Kyiv in September 2019.
Serhiy Shefir (right) with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (left) and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk (middle) in Kyiv in September 2019. Photo: Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A top aide for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was shot at Tuesday while riding in a vehicle outside of Kyiv in what authorities described as an assassination attempt, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: The adviser, Serhiy Shefir, survived the attack but his driver was wounded and hospitalized. It came while Zelenskyy was out of the country in New York for the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

What they're saying: Mykhailo Podolyak, another aide to Zelenskyy, told Reuters that the attack may have been motivated by Zelenskyy's promise to crack down on Ukrainian oligarchs.

  • "This open, deliberate and extremely violent assault with automatic weapons cannot be qualified any differently than as an attempted killing of a key team member," Podolyak said.

The big picture: The Ukrainian parliament is set to debate a presidential law that would define who is an oligarch and would reduce their influence over politics and certain economic policies, like privatizations.

  • Zelenskyy said he would denounce Russia’s military intervention in eastern Ukraine during his speech at the UN, according to the Times.

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