Two Colonels Arrested Over Failed Assassination Plot

( – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has dodged multiple assassination attempts since Russia invaded his country. The president is surrounded by tight security to protect him during the war. Recently, two security officers were arrested for plotting to kill him.

On May 7, authorities announced they arrested two colonels who worked for Ukraine’s State Protection Department, the nation’s Secret Service-like agency. The officials were reportedly recruited by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) to kill Zelenskyy.

The State Security Service (SBU) announced the arrests on social media but didn’t identify the suspected individuals. They released photos and a video of an interrogation but obscured their faces. According to the agency, the men provided the FSB with information about Zelenskyy and other top Ukrainian officials. They were also tasked with recruiting others to help them carry out their assassination plots.

The Washington Post reported the SBU stated that the men were searched for “operatives among the military close to the protection of” Zelenskyy, who would take him hostage and murder him. The FSB also wanted to kill the chief of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, Kyrylo Budanov, and the SBU leader, Vasyl Maliuk. Budanov was supposed to be killed before May 5, Orthodox Easter, as a “gift” to Russian President Vladimir Putin before his inauguration.

Maliuk called the FSB operation “actually a failure of the Russian special services.” The colonels were supposed to recruit an agent from Budanov’s security detail, who would then pass his location off to the FSB. The SBU reported that Russia was going to use a rocket to kill the GRU head and then use a drone to kill anyone who was still alive.

The colonels began working with the Russians before Putin launched the full-scale attack. One of the colonels said he’d already received weapons to carry out the attacks, including drones with explosives and ammunition for a rocket launcher.

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