Ukraine says it’s foiled assassination plot against Zelensky

Aug 7, 2023, 10:50 AM

An alleged informant for Russia has been detained in connection to a plot to assassinate Ukrainian ...

An alleged informant for Russia has been detained in connection to a plot to assassinate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, pictured here during a NATO leaders summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, July 12. Mandatory Credit: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

(CNN) — An alleged informant for Russia has been detained in connection to a plot to assassinate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) said Monday.

The detained woman has not been named publicly but is from the southern Ukrainian region of Mykolaiv, according to a statement from the SBU.

The SBU said she had been “gathering intelligence” about Zelensky’s planned visit to Mykolaiv at the end of July, in order to plan a Russian airstrike to kill the president.

However, SBU agents had obtained information about the “subversive activities of the suspect” and adopted additional security measures, foiling the plot.

The SBU said that it caught the woman “red-handed” as she “was trying to pass intelligence to the invaders.”

In monitoring the communications of the woman, the SBU established that she also had the task of identifying the location of electronic warfare systems and warehouses with ammunition of the armed forces.

She allegedly traveled around the territory of the district and filmed the locations of Ukrainian objects.

According to the investigation, the perpetrator was a resident of Ochakov in Mykolaiv region and a former saleswoman in a military store.

‘Automatics for everyone’

Zelensky has faced several known attempts on his life since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of his country in February 2022. Russian special forces were tasked with eliminating the Ukrainian president at the start of the war.

In a profile published in April 2022, TIME magazine described how Russian troops had parachuted into Kyiv to kill or capture Zelensky and his family on February 24, the day after the war began.

As Ukrainian forces fought Russians on the streets of Kyiv, the presidential guard tried to seal the compound using police barricades and piles of plywood, TIME reported.

Oleksiy Arestovych, a military intelligence veteran, said rifles and bulletproof vests were handed out to Zelensky and about a dozen aides as Russian troops made two attempts to storm the presidential compound.

“It was an absolute madhouse,” Arestovych told TIME. “Automatics for everyone.”

Zelensky ignored his bodyguards’ advice to flee the compound, and also refused the offers of British and American forces to evacuate him. He responded with the famous line: “I need ammo, not a ride.”

Later Zelensky walked outside the compound to film a defiant video message on his phone as Ukrainian troops battled Russians in nearby streets.

Several more attempts

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said in March last year that Zelensky had survived more than a dozen assassination attempts.

“Foreign sources talk of two or three attempts. I believe that there have been more than a dozen such attempts. We are constantly receiving intelligence that there are certain reconnaissance groups trying to enter government quarters and the like,” Podolyak was quoted in Ukrainska Pravda as saying.

“Western intelligence correctly states that the main target for Putin was Zelensky in terms of attacking government quarters and attempting to kill the country’s key leader,” he added.

In an interview with CNN in July, shortly before this alleged assassination attempt, Zelensky spoke about living in the knowledge that his death remains a priority for Russian forces.

“I’ll be honest with you, and tell you I’ve decided, if I will be thinking about it constantly, I will just shut myself down. Very much like Putin now, who doesn’t leave his bunker,” said Zelensky.

Zelensky also said he believes it is important that Ukrainians living under and attempting to repel the Russian invasion see that their president also faces threats.

“If I will isolate myself, I won’t understand what’s going on around me in the country. I will lose the connection with society. And if I lose this connection, we would lose the society. I’m convinced that society has to see if they are at risk, their President is at risk, too – together, with them,” he said.

“Of course, they understand that I have protection, etc., but I have to be on the same side with my people. You know you can get yourself into a cage like an animal and chain yourself there constantly, thinking that you are just about to get killed.”

Zelensky said that he leaves the question of his personal security “to the professionals,” allowing him to “free (his) mind to resolve the strategic issues.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

President Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he departs a campaign rally at Las Vegas Convention Ce...

Gabe Stern, Associated Press/Report for America

Nevada grand jury indicts six pro-Trump 2020 fake electors

A Nevada grand jury has indicted six Republicans who submitted certificates to Congress falsely declaring Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

50 minutes ago

Law enforcement officers head into the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, campus after reports of an ...

KEN RITTER and RIO YAMAT, Associated Press

Las Vegas sheriff says no further threat in shooting on UNLV campus, victims taken to hospital

Police say a suspect has been found dead as officers responded Wednesday to a "confirmed active shooter" in a building at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

3 hours ago

In this photo illustration, the welcome screen for the OpenAI "ChatGPT" app is displayed on a lapto...

Sergio Padilla, CNN

Wikipedia releases its top 25 most-viewed pages of 2023

Wikipedia’s top 25 most viewed pages in 2023, released Tuesday, reflect the world’s interest in innovation in artificial intelligence, people who died this year and the growing power of Indian users to influence trends on the website.

4 hours ago

FILE - A McDonald's golden arches is shown at restaurant in Havertown, Pa., Tuesday, April 26, 2022...

Dee-Ann Durbin

McDonald’s set for unprecedented growth over the next four years with 10,000 new stores

McDonald’s expects to open nearly 10,000 restaurants over the next four years, a pace of growth that would be unprecedented even for the world's largest burger chain.

5 hours ago

FIlE - Surrounded by Army cadets, President Donald Trump watches the first half of the 121st Army-N...

Nicholas Riccardi, Associated Press

Colorado Supreme Court will hear arguments on removing Trump from ballot

The Colorado Supreme Court is set to hear arguments over whether former President Donald Trump should be barred from running for president again under the Constitution's ban against those who “engaged in insurrection."

5 hours ago

A skier takes a huge jump at Kirkwood Mountain Resort, which is already open for the '23-'24 ski se...

Terry Ward, CNN

Less snow is falling worldwide, but these ski resorts are good bets for snowy slopes this season

From Europe and Japan to Alaska and Utah, here are some of the highest likelihoods for snowy slopes for a ski vacation this winter. See which Utah resort made the list!

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Ukraine says it’s foiled assassination plot against Zelensky