Mar 1, 2022 - World

Zelensky assassination plot foiled, Ukrainian authorities say

Zelensky
Volodymyr Zelensky. Photo: Presidency of Ukraine/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council chief Oleksiy Danilov announced during a briefing Tuesday that Ukrainian forces had foiled an assassination plot against President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to a Telegram post from Ukrainian authorities.

Why it matters: Zelensky has said since the start of Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine that he would be a prime target for assassination. Last Thursday, he warned that Russian "sabotage groups" had entered Kyiv and were hunting for him and his family.

The big picture: According to the Telegram message, Danilov said that a unit of elite Chechen special forces, known as Kadyrovites, had been behind the plot and had subsequently been "eliminated."

  • "We are well aware of the special operation that was to take place directly by the Kadyrovites to eliminate our president," Danilov said, per the post.
  • Ukrainian authorities had been tipped off about the plot by members of Russia's Federal Security Service who do not support the war, he added.
  • Danilov elaborated that the Kadyrovite group had been divided into two, with one being destroyed in Gostomel and the other "under fire."

Go deeper: What to know about Ukraine's wartime president

Go deeper