Woman arrested for allegedly aiding in plot to assassinate Ukraine's Zelensky

 August 8, 2023

A female Russian intelligence asset was arrested August 1 by the FBI equivalent in Ukraine for her involvement in a plot to assassinate Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky last month.

Ukraine's intelligence and security agency announced the arrest on Monday, but did not give the woman's name.

A photo of the arrest was heavily pixelated and she could not be identified in it.

She was from Ukraine's southern Mykolaiv region, and reportedly worked in a store on a military installation in Ochakiv, which Zelensky visited on July 31.

Caught "red-handed"

The woman reportedly tried to gather information about Zelensky's itinerary and the locations he would visit as part of an attempt to assassinate him. She also allegedly wanted to find out the location of ammo dumps and electronic warfare systems (jamming equipment) in the area as part of a planned massive air strike.

Ukraine said the woman was caught "red-handed" giving information to the Russians and faces 12 years in prison for her actions if convicted.

The investigation into her actions and the assassination plot is ongoing.

The arrest was kept fairly quiet in the Ukrainian press, and officials said the plot was averted because they were able to keep her from getting any relevant information.

The assassination attempt was one of many Zelensky and his officials have reportedly foiled since Russia invaded Ukraine. There were reported three such attempts in March alone and another foiled bombing intended for Zelensky in July.

Fighting continues

Fighting in Ukraine included two separate strikes Monday in Pokrovsk, which hit a residential building. Four civilians and a state emergency service official were reported dead and more than a dozen were injured, Ukraine’s interior ministry said.

Ukraine has increased its drone strikes on Russian targets recently, including on a Russian naval base and on a tanker near the border with Crimea, with Zelensky saying that the war “returning” to Russia was “an inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process.”

Russia returned 22 Ukraine soldiers to that country as part of a prisoner exchange on Monday, something that has occurred previously during the course of the war.

Dozens of countries, but not Russia, met in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia last week to discuss a peace plan for Ukraine.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Andriy Yermak said Sunday that the meeting was “very productive” event though there were varying points of view, but Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said they were "doomed to failure."

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