Ukrainian leader Zelensky says Russian assassins are in Kiev with orders to kill him

Volodymyr ZelenskyTHE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE, Volodymyr Zelensky, warned on Thursday that teams or Russian assassins have already entered the nation’s capital, Kiev, with orders to kill him and his family. Zelensky made this statement during a late-night address to the nation from an undisclosed location, presumably in Kiev. Referring to “enemy sabotage groups”, he said they had already “entered Kiev” and were seeking to “destroy Ukraine politically by destroying [its] head of state”.

Zelensky referred to “information we have”, according to which he had been “marked by the enemy as the number one target” and his family as “the number two target”. The statement was an apparent reference to an alleged “kill/capture list” that Moscow plans to put to use in Ukraine. As intelNews explained last week, United States officials have said that the purpose of the alleged list is two-fold: first, to minimize popular resistance by Ukrainians to an invading Russian army; and, second, to destabilize the government in Kiev, so that a pro-Russian government can eventually replace it.

According to the United States government, the list contains the names of senior Ukrainian politicians, Ukraine-based critics of the Russian and Belarusian governments, as well as journalists and other activists. According to Washington, the alleged list is maintained by the foreign intelligence arm of the Russia’s Federal Security Service—known as the Service for Operational Information and International Communications—or the Fifth Service, in short. The Fifth Service is political action of a covert nature, which is aimed at electoral subversion, political influence campaigns, psychological operations, and the undermining of groups or movements that Russia perceives as adversarial.

On Thursday, Foreign Policy’s national security and intelligence reporter Amy MacKinnon told SpyTalk’s Jeff Stein and Jeanne Meserve that the existence “kill/capture” list seemed credible, when one considers the Kremlin’s long history of assassination operations. MacKinnon was the first reporter to write about the alleged list. She told SpyTalk that it was part of a “campaign of arrests and assassinations”, which Moscow aimed to carry out on Ukrainian soil. She added that, although the names of potential victims have not been revealed, the list is “quite detailed and relatively extensive”.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 25 February 2022 | Permalink

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