At Least 3 Attempts to Kill Zelensky Reportedly Failed

Russian security sources tipped off Ukraine, officials say
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2022 4:35 PM CST
Assassins Reportedly Failed 3 Times to Get to Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a speech to the nation on Feb. 25.   (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

Assassins backed by Russia have tried to kill President Volodymyr Zelensky at least three times in the past week, media reports and Ukrainian officials say. Mercenaries and Chechen special forces made the attempts to kill Zelensky, the Times of London reported. One Chechen team consisting of special forces called Kadyrovites sent over the weekend was stopped after Ukrainian security officials were tipped off by informants in Russia's Federal Security Service, per the Washington Post.

"We have received information from the FSB, who today do not want to take part in this bloody war," Oleksiy Danilov said. "And thanks to this, the Kadyrov elite group was destroyed, which came here to eliminate our president." When the Russian invasion began, Zelensky often went out on the streets of Kyiv, but he's lately been staying out of sight, per the Insider. The president has said he realizes the danger he faces from assassins, saying he's the Russians' "target No. 1" in a speech to the nation. "They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state," Zelensky said.

About 400 agents have been dispatched to Kyiv by the Wagner Group, a private army owned by an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, per the Times. They've been given a list of 20 names of top officials—including Zelensky—and offered bonuses for killing them. The agents reportedly couldn't establish a safe escape route because of the Russian convoy stalled outside Kyiv, per Yahoo News. (Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has suggested somebody assassinate Putin.)

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