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Ukraine says kill squad sent to assassinate president has been 'destroyed'
Presidency of Ukraine / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Ukraine says kill squad sent to assassinate president has been 'destroyed'

Sympathetic Russian agents allegedly tipped Ukraine off about the plot

A Ukrainian defense official announced this week that a kill squad sent to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had been "eliminated" by the country's armed forces, according to a Telegram post from Ukrainian authorities.

Oleksiy Danilov, chief of the country's National Security and Defense Council, reportedly said during a briefing on Tuesday that Ukrainian officials had recently been made aware of a "special operation" that was to be carried out against Zelenskyy by an elite Chechen special forces unit, known as the Kadyrovites.

The Kadyrovites are a highly-skilled paramilitary organization in Chechnya, a semiautonomous republic in Russia, that often carry out violence at Russian President Vladimir Putin's request. According to National Review, they are accused of a number of human rights violations and abuses.

Danilov said Ukrainian leaders were tipped off about the assassination plot by a group of sympathetic Russian agents with the enemy country's Federal Security Service.

"We are well aware of the special operation that was to take place directly by the Kadyrovites to eliminate our president. And I can say that we have received information from the FSB, who today do not want to take part in this bloody war. And thanks to this, I can say that Kadyrov's elite group was destroyed directly, which came here to eliminate our president," Danilov said, according to a Google translation of the Telegram.

The Ukrainian leader went on to say that the Kadyrovite group had been divided in two, with one being destroyed in Gostomel, near Kyiv, while the other was "under fire."

The Washington Post reported that Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov confirmed on Monday in a Telegram post that two of his servicemen had died while six others were injured during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, neither the Chechens nor the Kremlin has attributed the losses to a foiled assassination attempt.

Since the launch of the invasion, Zelenskyy has claimed that Russian forces designated him and his family as top targets in the offensive and that Russian kill squads were actively seeking to assassinate him. Nevertheless, he vowed to remain in the capital, Kyiv, and stand alongside his people.

Even when the U.S. government reportedly offered to evacuate Zelenskyy out of harm's way, the president stood by his decision to stay.

"The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride," an "upbeat" Zelenskyy declared in response to the offer, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official.

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Phil Shiver

Phil Shiver

Phil Shiver is a former staff writer for The Blaze. He has a BA in History and an MA in Theology. He currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina. You can reach him on Twitter @kpshiver3.