Officials said that a unit of elite Chechen special forces, known as Kadyrovites, were involved in the plot against the country’s leader and had been “eliminated”.
Mr Zelensky said after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine that he was Russia’s top target for assassination, and warned that “sabotage groups” were already in Kyiv hunting for him and his family.
“We are well aware of the special operation that was to take place directly by the Kadyrovites to eliminate our president,” said Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council chief Oleksiy Danilo.
He added that the Chechens had been divided into two, with one group eliminated in Gostomel and the other “under fire”.
And he said that Ukrainian authorities were tipped off about the plot by members of Russia’s Federal Security Service, who he claimed do not support the invasion.
Earlier, five people died in a Russian airstrike that damaged Kyiv’sTV tower, as Moscow urged the capital’s residents to flee ahead of what it claimed would be “high-precision strikes”.
The Ukraine Ministry of Internal Affairs said television channels would be off-air for a while after the explosion in the Shevchenkivs’kyi district, which took place near a memorial site commemorating the victims of Babyn Yar, one of the biggest single massacres of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust.
Exxon Mobil also announced that it would shut down its Russian oil production after the attack on Ukraine.
The Texas-based energy company announced that it would end its involvement in a large Russian oil and gas project, following companies such as BP and Shell in quitting the country.
Exxon had been developing the project on the eastern Russian island of Sakhalin along with the state-controlled company Rosneft, as well as partners from India and Japan.
Refugees Welcome Campaign
The Independent has set up a petition calling on the UK government to be at the forefront of the international community offering aid and support to those in Ukraine. To sign the petition click here.
We are also raising money for the people of Ukraine – if you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.
The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies