Ukraine's security forces foil Russian assassination attempts on Defence Minister and intelligence chief

Ukraine’s security forces foil Russian assassination attempts on Defence Minister and intelligence chief

Ukrainian law enforcement officers have foiled assassination attempts by the Russian secret service on Oleksii Reznikov, Minister of Defence of Ukraine, and Kyrylo Budanov, Head of the Chief Intelligence Directorate. It is reported by with reference to “Ukrainska Pravda”.

Source: Security Service of Ukraine (SSU); Kyiv City Prosecutor’s Office; Kyiv Police

Quote from the SSU: “The Security Service has prevented a series of contract murders of representatives of Ukraine’s top military and political leadership and public figures.

The perpetrators were preparing to kill the Minister of Defence [of Ukraine] and the head of the Chief Intelligence Directorate [of Ukraine], as well as a well-known Ukrainian activist.”

Details: The Prosecutor’s Office said law enforcement officers had detained the suspect and notified him of suspicion of treason.

According to the Ukrainian intelligence service, Russian handlers had promised a reward of $100,000-150,000 for the killing of each of the Ukrainian officials.

The investigation materials indicate that the killings were being planned by a resident of Luhansk Oblast who has been participating in the hostilities in eastern Ukraine on the Russian side since 2014 as a member of the so-called “people’s militia” of the LPR [the self-proclaimed Russian-controlled Luhansk People’s Republic – ed.].

Around May 2022, the man was tasked by his Russian handlers to arrange the killing of a Ukrainian citizen who was leading a military unit involved in the war with Russia.

To implement his plan, he engaged a citizen of Ukraine who lives in the city of Kyiv. The Kyiv resident agreed to carry out the assignment, which included tracking the target and subsequently using firearms to kill him.

The killing of the military leader was supposed to be a “test” assignment ahead of further planned attempts on the lives of Ukrainian citizens.

According to the investigation, Russian handlers ordered the Luhansk man to arrange the killings of the Ukrainian Defence Minister, the head of the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and other public figures in the capital and other cities of Ukraine. The Prosecutor’s Office said other potential targets included the leader of the National Corps [also known as the National Corps Party, and previously called the Patriots of Ukraine – a Ukrainian political party founded in 2016 and then led by Andrii Biletskyi] who had served as the commander of the reconnaissance unit of the Azov Regiment, and an advisor to a Ukrainian minister. 

Both suspects were detained in Kovel (Volyn Oblast) by counter-intelligence officers of Ukraine’s Security Service and officers from Special Operations Centre “A”.

During a search, officers found evidence of criminal acts and a Russian passport among the suspect’s possessions.

Ukrainian law enforcement officials are currently arranging for the detained men to be issued with notices of suspicion and ensuring that the appropriate precautionary measures are in place.