Plot to Assassinate Ukraine’s President Zelensky at European Airport Foiled by Polish Security Services, They Say

18 April 2024, Ukraine, Kiew: Volodymyr Zelenskyi, President of Ukraine, receives Habeck,
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A joint intelligence operation between Poland and Ukraine has led to the arrest of a Polish citizen allegedly conducting hostile reconnaissance against an airport used by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for international flights.

Polish National Prosecutor’s Office prosecutor Anna Adamiak said while the investigation into Polish citizen ‘Paweł K.’ was ongoing, it was believed he was in contact with Russian intelligence and individuals involved in the Russian invasion of Ukraine and had been tasked with intelligence gathering at the Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport. The airport in Rzeszów, eastern Poland, is across the border from the now-Ukrainian city of Lviv (Lwow) and is frequently used by Zelensky for international flights instead of airports inside his own country, given the obvious risk.

Prosecutor Adamiak said: “The findings of the investigation show that the suspect’s tasks included collecting information that would be helpful in planning a possible assassination attempt on the life of the President of Ukraine by the Russian services… he detainee was charged with reporting readiness to act for foreign intelligence against the Republic of Poland, qualified under Art. 130 § 3 of the Penal Code. The act is punishable by up to 8 years in prison.”

Polish broadcaster Polsat reports Paweł K. had contacted Russian military intelligence and was to “help Russian special services plan a possible attack on the life of the head of a foreign state – President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky”.

Exactly what form this attack could have taken was not publicly speculated upon but the airport, in a NATO country, is protected by U.S.-made Patriot air defence missiles, The Times of London reports. Per the paper, the airport is also frequently used for visits to Ukraine by foreign politicians and for deliveries of aid. In the case of political visitors, the onwards journey into Ukraine is typically by rail, on one of a series of special Ukrainian Railways VIP trains.

Russia goaded Ukraine in response to the news of the report, stating the arrest was not actually evidence of a Russian plot to kill Zelensky at a European airport, but that it was actually a cover-story in preparation for a Western attempt to dispose of the Ukrainian President.

The investigation was reportedly a cooperation between the Polish Internal Security Agency, the National Prosecutor’s Office, and the Masovian (Warsaw) Branch of the Department of Organized Crime and Corruption and Ukrainian intelligence. The Ukraine security services said of the arrest: “close cooperation between the SBU, the general prosecutor’s office and law enforcement structures in Poland… Thanks to effective actions and efficient exchange of information between the two countries, the agent recruited by the Russian services was identified and detained on Polish territory”.

The arrest is just the latest in a series of alleged Russian spies and saboteurs detained in European nations, which has varied from assasination and attack attempts to abuse of diplomatic credentials for espionage. This week in Poland, two men were detained over the hammer attack on a Vladimir Putin critic in exile that took place in Lithuania in March. They are to be handed over to Lithuania for criminal proceedings.

In Germany, also this week, two German-Russian dual citizens were arrested over allegations they had scouted military bases and were working towards a plan to bomb a U.S. Military Base in Germany that is used to train Ukrainian tank crews. Last year, 14 ‘Russian spies’ including a number of Ukrainian ‘refugees’ were sentenced over another plot to spy on and sabotage military supply trains taking equipment to Ukraine from Europe.


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