Ukrainian Intelligence Says It’s Trying to Kill Putin

The Ukrainian intelligence service says it’s attempting to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin. A high-ranking official admitted to actively plotting the Russian leader’s assassination after a recent drone attack on the Kremlin. 

“Putin is noticing that we are getting closer and closer to him,” Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate, told Welt in an interview. He added, Putin is number one on the kill list “because he coordinates and decides what happens.”

The Ukrainian intelligence official claimed his agency had failed to kill Putin because he “stays holed up.” Skibitsky suggested another attempt could be made soon as the Russian leader “is now beginning to stick his head out.”  

Ukrainian officials have admitted to previously attempting to kill Putin. Last year, Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, in an interview with Ukrainska Pravda claimed, “There was an attempt to assassinate Putin…[It was an] Absolutely unsuccessful attempt, but it really happened… It was about [March 2022].”

Three weeks ago, two unmanned aerial vehicles were downed over the Kremlin, where Putin keeps an office. Although, the Russian leader was not present at the complex when the attack occurred. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Moscow considered the drones to be an assassination attempt against Putin.

In the first month of the war, then-Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett engaged Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in talks that nearly ended the war. The peace talks were blocked by Washington, but Putin pledged not to target Zelensky with any assassination attempts during those talks. The Kremlin appears to have upheld that agreement until the most recent attempt on Putin’s life. 

It is unclear if Moscow will continue to abide by the pledge. Zelensky has spent several weeks outside of his nation, traveling to allied countries and meeting with his counterparts. 

In response to the drone attack on the Kremlin, Dmitry Medvedev, a high-ranking Russian defense official, called for Zelensky’s “physical elimination.” A statement from Putin’s office said, “Russia reserves the right to take countermeasures wherever and whenever it deems appropriate.”

Skibitsky revealed another name on Kiev’s kill list is Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin. “We’re trying to kill him.” He added, “Our priority is to eliminate [Prigozhin] who orders his men to attack.” 

The intelligence official went on to name two more targeted high-ranking officials in Moscow. “But in the end, everyone will have to answer for their actions.” He continued, “Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu planned the attack and now they cannot turn back.”

Welt asked Skibitsky if civilians in Russia could be added to the kill list. “We are at war and these are our enemies. If an important figure manufactures and finances weapons for [Russia], then his elimination would save the lives of many civilians,” he said. “According to international conventions, this is a legitimate goal.”

The US government believes Kiev has already carried out targeted assassinations inside Russia. Last year, Darya Dugina was killed by a car bomb. It is suspected her father, Alexander Dugin was the target of the attack.