Zelensky sacks bodyguard chief after foiled assassination plot

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed the head of the the agency responsible for his protection after two of its officers were detained over an alleged assassination plot against him.

The sacking of State Guard Service (UDO) chief Serhii Rud was revealed in a decree published on the presidential website. No reason for the dismissal was given.

According to Ukrainian state media Ukrinform, Rud was appointed to be Zelensky’s top bodyguard in October 2019. A replacement is yet to be named.

The UDO is tasked with ensuring the security of Ukraine’s president and senior state officials, as well as the protection of administrative buildings.

Earlier this week it emerged that Ukraine had detained two security officials allegedly involved in a Russian plot to assassinate Zelensky.

Two colonels in the UDO were accused of carrying out “subversive activities against Ukraine in exchange for financial compensation,” Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s office said Tuesday.

Photo credit:Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Both colonels were charged with treason; one was also charged with preparing a terrorist act.

Kyiv’s state security service (SBU) said it had “foiled” the plans to assassinate Zelensky and other senior Ukrainian officials, including the head of the SBU, Vasyl Maliuk, and the head of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov.

The prosecutor’s office said one of the suspects received two drones and ammunition from Russia’s state security service (FSB), which they intended to transfer to another accomplice to carry out an explosion.

Zelensky has reportedly faced several attempts on his life since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Aside from assassination plots, Zelensky has experienced a number of close shaves during his many visits to the front lines and Ukrainian cities under Russian bombardment.

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