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7 Aug, 2023 22:25

Ukraine claims it foiled Russian plot to kill Zelensky

A woman allegedly feeding information on the president’s whereabouts has been arrested
Ukraine claims it foiled Russian plot to kill Zelensky

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced on Monday that it arrested a woman who had passed on intelligence to the Russians about the location of President Vladimir Zelensky so they could try to assassinate him.

The suspect is a resident of the port city of Ochakov in Nikolaev Region, who once worked at a military supply store as a sales clerk, according to the authorities. The SBU said it caught her “red handed” while passing on intelligence to the “invaders.”

The woman, who has not been named, allegedly inquired about Zelensky’s schedule and route ahead of his visit to Nikolaev in June. The SBU detected her and implemented additional security measures to protect the president, while deploying agents to gather more evidence on the suspected “Russian informant.”

The security service alleges that the woman also sought to identify the location of electronic warfare systems and ammunition warehouses in the Ochakov area, so that Russian forces could target them in a “massive air strike.” She allegedly traveled around the district and photographed the location of Ukrainian Armed Forces objects, while also secretly inquiring about them in the “social institutions” of the region.

The SBU’s announcement comes just a week after Politico published a feature about Kiev’s contingency plans in case Zelensky is assassinated, which the outlet claimed he narrowly avoided on several occasions. 

Politico even named the circle of people who would take over for the former actor, with the speaker of the parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk, acting as the figurehead, Zelensky’s producer and chief of staff, Andrey Ermak, running the daily operations, and the triumvirate of Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov, and General Valery Zaluzhny managing the war.

The SBU has been on a hunt for enemies of Ukraine from the moment hostilities with Russia escalated in February 2022. The next month, it summarily executed a businessman who had been working for Ukraine’s military intelligence to sabotage talks with Russia – which Kiev admitted only a year later. 

More recently, the SBU raided hundreds of homes and offices in Kiev and 11 regions of Ukraine in pursuit of what it called a widespread conspiracy to sell fraudulent medical mobilization exemptions for $6,000 apiece.

Although the SBU claimed that the “Russian informant” directly threatened Zelensky’s life, the Ochakov resident was charged with unauthorized dissemination of information about the movements of troops and equipment, with a maximum penalty of up to 12 years in prison if convicted.