scorecardKremlin denies wanting to kill Zelenskyy, despite reports that it tasked elite units with hunting him down in Kyiv
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Kremlin denies wanting to kill Zelenskyy, despite reports that it tasked elite units with hunting him down in Kyiv

Bill Bostock   

Kremlin denies wanting to kill Zelenskyy, despite reports that it tasked elite units with hunting him down in Kyiv
PoliticsPolitics1 min read
  • Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that Russia did not want to kill Zelenskyy.
  • The Times of London reported that the Kremlin put a bounty on Zelenskyy's head.

The Kremlin on Wednesday denied wanting to kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, despite reports that it placed a a bounty on his head.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov made the remark during a Wednesday press briefing, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

Ukraine says that Zelenskyy been repeatedly targeted by Russia-linked assassins in Kyiv.

Zelenskyy's adviser Mikhail Podolyak told the Ukrayinska Pravda newspaper that, as of March 10, he believed there had been "more than a dozen such attempts" made on Zelenskyy's life. He did not provide any evidence.

In one case, according to The Times of London, a group of Chechen assassins tried to assassinate Zelenskyy on the outskirts of Kyiv on February 26. The Chechens were "eliminated" before they could reach Zelensky, the report said, without giving further specifics.

Earlier in the invasion, Zelensky said that "enemy sabotage groups" were active in Kyiv and that he was their "number one target."

One of those sabotage groups appears to be the Wagner Group, a private army owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Putin ally.

In March, The Times of London reported that the Kremlin had offered mercenaries working for the Wagner Group bounties for killing a list of leading Ukrainian figures, which included Zelenskyy and Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko.

In the early days of the war, Zelenskyy was only occasionally seen outside and recorded most of his video messages from a nondescript location.

Since then he has been out in public more often: he filmed several messages outdoors in Kyiv and on Monday visited the town of Bucha to see evidence of apparent war crimes committed against people there.

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