The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) has uncovered a network of agents from the Russian FSB's 5th Service who were planning the assassination of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky: two colonels from the State Security Department have been detained.

This was reported by the SSU press service.

It is reported that counterintelligence and SSU investigators thwarted the FSB’s plans to eliminate the President of Ukraine and other representatives of the country’s senior military-political leadership.

According to investigators, the plans were to be implemented by a covert network that was preemptively exposed by the Security Service of Ukraine with the assistance of the leadership of the State Security Department.

The network, which was overseen by the FSB from Moscow, included two colonels from the State Security Department who leaked classified information to Russia.

“Yes, the enemy actively developed plans to eliminate President Volodymyr Zelensky. One of the tasks of the FSB’s covert network was to search for executioners among the military personnel close to the President’s security, who could have taken the head of state hostage and later killed him”, the SSU reported.

It is reported that in addition to Zelensky, the FSB also planned to eliminate the head of the SSU, Vasyl Maliuk, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, and other senior officials. For example, the liquidation of the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, was planned to be carried out before Easter.

“The enemy’s plan was as follows: first, the recruited agent had to observe the movements of the person under protection and pass information to the enemy. Based on the coordinates of the house where the official was supposed to be, a rocket strike was planned. Then, people who remained at the site of the strike were to be attacked by a drone. After that, the Russians planned to target another rocket, including to destroy the traces of drone use”, the statement said.

According to the SSU, the agent’s equipment was provided by a colonel from the State Security Department, who personally brought FPV drones, RPG-7 charges, and anti-personnel mines MON-90 to Kyiv.

It is reported that the SSU recorded both trips of the State Security Department colonel for drones and explosives to another region of Ukraine and conversations of a potential executor of the terrorist act with an “overseer” from the FSB.

The Security Service of Ukraine documented the actions of the suspects step by step and detained them, the special services noted.

“A limited circle of persons knew about our special operation, and I personally supervised its course. The terrorist act, which was supposed to be a gift to Putin before the ‘inauguration,’ turned out to be a failure of the Russian special services. But we must not forget – the enemy is strong and experienced, it cannot be underestimated”, said the head of the SSU, Vasyl Maliuk.

As noted by the SSU, the organization of the terrorist act was supervised by employees of the 9th department of the operational information department of the 5th service of the FSB:

  • Maxim Mishustin;
  • Dmitry Perlin;
  • Alexey Kornev.

In particular, according to the SSU, Perlin in January 2022 became the curator of “moles” who were recruited before the full-scale invasion of Russia. Before that, his colleague Alexey Kornev had “taken care” of them.

It is reported that before the start of the full-scale war, Kornev held a series of covert meetings with a colonel from the State Security Department on the territory of neighboring European countries. Also, funds were usually transferred to agents abroad.

“Searches were conducted at the suspects’ premises, during which relevant means of attack and other evidence of criminal activity were found and seized”, the statement said.

Currently, they have been informed of suspicion under the following articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine:

  • Part 2 of Article 111 (state treason committed in conditions of martial law);
  • Part 1 of Article 14, Part 2 of Article 258 (preparation for a terrorist act).

The suspects have been remanded in custody. They face life imprisonment. Comprehensive actions were carried out under the procedural guidance of the Office of the Prosecutor General.

Photo: OP