Ukraine uncovers alleged Russia plot to assassinate President Zelensky News, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Ukraine uncovers alleged Russia plot to assassinate President Zelensky

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced Tuesday that they had thwarted a Russian plot to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky. They said that the plans had been devised by a network of agents and there were plans to also eliminate other representatives of the country’s top military and political leadership.

In their statement, the SBU asserted that the network of agents included two colonels from the Ukrainian State Security Service of Ukraine, who allegedly leaked information to the Russian Federation. Their plans were to assassinate Zelensky, as well as several top members of the Ukrainian leadership, including the head of Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Directorate, Major General Budanov and the head of the SBU Vasyl Malyuk. According to the SBU, the plans involved using drones and missiles to target the designated people.

This is not the first time that Zelensky and other top officials have been the target of assassination attempts. Just three weeks ago, the National Prosecutor’s Office of Poland announced that they had brought charges against a Polish national who was involved in an alleged plot to assassinate the President of Ukraine. Major General Budanov has also been targeted numerous times, including an attempted car bombing. His wife, Marianna Budanova, was poisoned with heavy metals in November 2023 in a reported attempt on her life.

Russia has previously denied that they have any intentions to assassinate the President of Ukraine. In a previous statement to the United Nations earlier this year, Dmitry Polyansky, the First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN said that assassinating Zelensky was not part of their plans. Russian state media TASS quoted Polyansky saying, “Do you really think that if we wanted to hit Zelensky’s motorcade, we would not be able to do it?”

The two arrested colonels have been remanded in custody and face life imprisonment. Malyuk said in the statement that the attempted attack was a failure of the Russian intelligence services and vowed that they would work hard to ensure that “every traitor” would receive justice.