Ukraine says its forces foiled assassination plot against Volodymyr Zelensky

Officials say Chechen special forces were behind attempt to kill Ukraine’s president

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 02 March 2022 06:58 GMT
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Russian shelling hits Kharkiv outside Soviet-era regional administration

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Ukraine says its armed forces have foiled an assassination plot against President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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”.

A member of the Ukrainian Emergency Service looks at the City Hall building in the central square following shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

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.

People look at the gutted remains of Russian military vehicles on a road in the town of Bucha, close to the capital Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

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.

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