Foreign

May 9, 2024

Ukrainian president Zelensky fires bodyguard chief after assassination plot foiled

Ukrainian president Zelensky fires bodyguard chief after assassination plot foiled

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday fired the head of the department responsible for his personal protection after two of its officers were detained this week over an alleged assassination plot.

Zelensky published a decree to “dismiss Sergiy Leonidovich Rud from the post of head of the State Protection Department of Ukraine”.

It did not state a reason for Rud’s removal or name a replacement to the highly sensitive position.

The announcement came after Ukraine’s SBU security service announced Tuesday it had foiled a Russian plot to assassinate Zelensky and other senior officials.

It said it had detained two colonels from the bodyguard department on suspicion of passing secret information to Russia’s rival FSB security service.

One of them, it alleged, had personally provided rocket rounds, drones and anti-personnel mines for an agent to carry out attacks.

Rud, 47, had headed the department — which oversees the personal security of the president, other senior officials and their families — since 2019.

Zelensky has been a target for Russia since it invaded in February 2022. He said last year that he was aware of at least “five or six” foiled assassination plots against him.