Since Russia invaded his country last week, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has survived three assassination attempts, according to a new report.
The Times of London reported that two elite Chechen forces and mercenaries linked to the Russian-backed private military company Wagner Group, have been sent to the capital to target the Ukrainian leader.
Intelligence reports also suggest that Kremlin has drawn up a ‘kill list’ of 24 high profile targets inside the country whose deaths would prompt chaos in Ukrainian government, sources told the publication.
“I can say that we have received information from [Russia’s Federal Security Service], who do not want to take part in this bloody war,” Ukraine Secretary of National Security and Defence Oleksiy Danilov was quoted as saying to local TV stations, according to the Times.
Former U.S intelligence officials told Fox News Digital last week that using the Wagner Group prevents any links to Vladimir Putin in this case since they are a private military company. In other words, the approach allows Kremlin to escape attribution if Zelenskyy is assassinated.
That said, since its inception in 2014, the Wagner Group which was involved in the annexation of Crimea has been considered a proxy group of the Russian state abroad, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
At the start of the conflict last week, Zelensky declined an offer by the United States to be evacuated from Kyiv despite Russian forces encircling the Ukrainian capital.
“The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,” he said according to the Associated Press.
Reference: New York Post