Chechen assassins who plotted to kill President Zelenskyy 'eliminated', Ukraine says

2 March 2022, 07:34 | Updated: 2 March 2022, 08:09

Pro-Russian separatists from the Chechen "Death" battalion (stock photo)
Pro-Russian separatists from the Chechen "Death" battalion (stock photo). Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

An elite unit of Chechen fighters that was 'sent to kill President Volodymyr Zelenskyy' has been "eliminated", Ukraine has claimed.

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Kyiv Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, Oleksiy Danilov, made the revelation during a TV address.

Speaking on TV channel Ukraine 24, Mr Danilov said: "We are already aware of the special operation that was to be carried out by Kadyrov forces unit.

"We received the information from representatives of Russia's Federal Security Service who do not want to take part in this bloody war.

"The Kadyrov forces unit, which came to kill our President, was eliminated."

Read more: Battle to flee Kyiv as Russian convoy descends on capital and US closes airspace

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One group is said to have come under fire in Hostomel, while another is being held at gunpoint, Mr Danilov explained.

He went on to say: "We will not give our president or our country to anyone. This is our land, get out of here."

It comes after the Ukrainian president previously said in an address that he was a number one target for Russian assassins.

"I am target number one, my wife and children are number two," he said.

"They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state.

"I will stay in the capital. My family is also in Ukraine."

Several reports on February 25 also suggested specialist Chechen forces had been sent to hunt down specific Ukrainian officials to either detain or kill them.

However, Mr Zelenskyy has remained defiant against Russia, becoming the face of his country's resistance.

On Tuesday, he pleaded for the help of Western allies to fight Russian troops, comparing the ongoing conflict to World War II.

It followed a Russian missile attack near the Holocaust memorial complex in Kyiv, which killed five people.

Mr Zelenskyy asked the world not to "stay silent" amid the increased attacks on civilians.

He tweeted: "To the world: what is the point of saying «never again» for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babyn Yar? At least 5 killed. History repeating…"

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