A group of Chechen assassins sent to kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky were “eliminated” after their plot was foiled, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council said on Tuesday.
The announcement from Oleksiy Danilov came days after Ukraine’s military reportedly destroyed a column of Chechen tanks controlled by Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov near Hostomel, a key battleground outside Kyiv.
“The Kadyrov forces unit, which came to kill our President, was eliminated,” Danilov told Ukraine 24 TV. “We will not give our president or our country to anyone. This is our land, get out of here.”
Danilov said information about the Chechen plot came from agents from Russia’s FSB security service who are opposed to the war.
He said the group had split into two, with one near Hostomel eliminated and the other “under gunpoint.”
‘We are already aware of the special operation that was to be carried out by Kadyrov forces unit,’ Danilov said on Ukraine 24 TV channel, The Mirror reported.
‘We received the information from representatives of Russia’s Federal Security Service who do not want to take part in this bloody war.
‘The Kadyrov forces unit, which came to kill our President, was eliminated.”
Danilov said the unit had been split into two groups and its movements were being closely tracked.
He said that one of the two groups came under fire from Ukraine’s forces in Hostomel – a north-west suburb of Ukraine’s Kyiv capital. The other unit was ‘in our sights’, he said.
‘They were divided in two groups, we were tracking them,’ Danilov said on television. ‘One group was held near Hostomel, the other one is in our sights.’
Danilov continued: ‘We will not give our President or our country to anyone. This is our land, get out of here.’
Since the Russian invasion began on February 24, there have been fears that president Zelensky could be killed by Russian forces. In an address, he even said that he was target number-one for the Kremlin’s assassins.
‘I am target number one, my wife and children are number two,’ he said last week.
However, despite the threat to his life, he has continued to project defiance in the face of danger and become the face of Ukraine’s resistance.