An elite Russian squad sent to kill Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has been “eliminated”, according to Ukrainian reports.
The group of Chechen assassins was reportedly sent into Ukraine by the leader of Russia’s Chechnya region, Ramzan Kadyrov, who is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In a televised address, Oleksiy Danilov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, stated the unit “which came to kill our president was eliminated”.
“We received the information from representatives of Russia’s Federal Security Service who do not want to take part in this bloody war,” he said on the Ukraine 24 TV channel.
“The Kadyrov forces unit, which came to kill our president, was eliminated.”
He went on to note the unit had been divided into two groups and was closely followed.
According to him, one group came under fire in Hostomel, while another group is currently being held at gunpoint.
Danilov added: “We will not give our President or our country to anyone. This is our land, get out of here.”
In the hours after Russia invaded on Thursday morning, Zelensky went into hiding and said he feared for his life and those of his family.
He said in a video address from his secret location, he had been marked “target number one” by Russian forces on a mission to ‘abduct’ him and take control of the capital.
He claimed that his family’s lives are at risk by Russian “sabotage groups” who had moved into the capital city.
Over the weekend, it was then reported that roughly 400 mercenaries were operating in Kyiv under Kremlin orders to assassinate Zelensky.
Armed militia from the Wagner Group were flown into the capital from Africa five weeks ago, it’s claimed.
The militia was ordered to decapitate Zelensky’s government in return for a handsome financial bonus.
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The scheme was part of Putin’s plan to try and seize Kiev, knockout the government and conquer Ukraine within 48 hours – a plan that has so far failed.
The Ukrainian government got wind of the mission on Saturday morning, reports The Times, and mere hours later Kyiv declared a 36-hour ‘hard’ curfew to sweep the city of saboteurs.
The President said the attack on the city’s central square was an “open, undisguised terror attack”.
He said: “No one will forgive. No one will forget.”
Speaking via video link to an emergency session of the European Parliament, he urged members to “prove that you are with us” in Ukraine’s war with Russia, a day after officially asking to join the bloc.
European Union lawmakers, many wearing #standwithUkraine T-shirts bearing the Ukrainian flag, others with blue-and-yellow scarves or ribbons, gave Zelenskiy a standing ovation.