Ukrainian leader Zelensky survived a dozen assassination attempts

While leading his people in the defense of their nation against a brutal Russian military invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has survived ‘more than a dozen’ assassination attempts’, according to one of his close advisers.

Mikhail Podolyak, the Ukrainian President’s chief of staff, has warned of Russian ‘sabotage groups’ entering Kyiv and attempting to hunt down Zelensky, 44, and his family.

Podolyak said those attacks had been foiled and the attempted killers had been ‘liquidated’ before they reached the president by a very powerful Ukrainian intelligence and counterintelligence network.

Podolyak said western intelligence was right to say that Zelensky was Putin’s ‘number one target’ but the presidential aide dismissed reports that said the Ukraine president had survived ‘three assassination attempts in the last week’, asserting that the number of murder plots was far greater.

“Our foreign partners are talking about two or three attempts. I believe that there were more than a dozen such attempts,” Podolyak said.

Sources have confirmed that mercenaries from the Kremlin-backed Wagner group and Chechen special forces were both sent to kill the Ukrainian president since the start of Russia’s invasion but the assassins were stopped because subversive anti-war members within Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB)—Russia’s successor to the KGB—alerted Ukraine officials.

The Wagner Group reportedly infiltrated 400 members—each with a 24-name ‘kill list’ —into Kyiv, the Ukraine capital city, so that Russian President Vladimir Putin would have been able to deny any involvement if hauled before international courts for justice.

At the end of last month, those highly-trained operatives were said to be waiting for the green light from the Kremlin to strike, with their hit list also including Ukraine’s prime minister, the entire cabinet, mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko and his brother Wladimir – both boxing champions who have become iconic figures on the front lines of the capital.

The plan was disrupted after they reached the upper echelons of the Ukrainian government, prompting Kyiv to declare a 36-hour ‘hard’ curfew, ordering everyone indoors so that soldiers could sweep the streets for Russian saboteurs.

At a town hall in Asheville, N.C., GOP isolationist Rep. Madison Cawthorn called Zelensky a “thug” in remarks that are at odds with the broad bipartisan support for Ukraine among Americans.

Cawthorn, 26, is on his first term in the House and is a vocal supporter of former president Donald Trump, who has recently praised Russian President Vladimir Putin’s handling of the invasion as “genius” and “savvy.”

The comedian-turned-president had an approval rating at 91 percent in February, but his bravery in facing the Russian onslaught and his leadership over the past few weeks, earned the support of an overwhelming majority of his country as well as the world.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has turned around his domestic political fortunes with his leadership over the past few weeks, earning the support of an overwhelming majority of the country in the face of a Russian invasion.

Zelensky, an entertainer-turned-politician, saw his approval ratings steadily decline since his election in 2019, continuing a string of displeasure with leadership within Ukraine over issues like corruption.

But his stewardship of the country and stirring calls to defend Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression have impressed even those who were skeptical of his leadership just a few weeks ago, and his approval ratings have risen to more than 90 percent, according to one recent poll.

“I would’ve given him a C last year. I think he was a mediocre president at peace, and he’s a fabulous president at war,” said Melinda Haring, who previously was editor of the UkraineAlert blog at the Atlantic Council, where she is now deputy director of the Eurasia Center.

“He’s really turned things around,” Haring said. “I’m surprised by him. I’m surprised by his physical courage, I’m impressed with his stiff upper lip.”

Before running for office, Zelensky was best known in Ukraine as an actor and comedian who had appeared in movies and on reality television. His populist campaign garnered significant support, and he won election with roughly 73 percent of the vote, handily defeating then-President Petro Poroshenko.

Prior to the invasion, Zelensky was probably best known among Americans for being at the center of former President Trump’s first impeachment, in which Trump pressured Zelensky during a phone call to investigate President Biden and his family just days after Trump ordered a hold on U.S. military aid to Kyiv.

In recent days, video clips have gone viral of Zelensky competing on the Ukrainian version of “Dancing With the Stars” in 2006 and voicing Paddington the bear in the Ukrainian version of the 2014 film “Paddington.”

Those lighthearted moments have been a jarring juxtaposition to images of a weary but resolute Zelensky delivering video messages from the city of Kyiv, vowing to stay and fight for his people by leading efforts to defend their country against Russian aggression.



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