Polish man detained over alleged plot to kill Ukraine president Zelenskyy

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Sumana | Date 19-04-2024
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky



A Polish man has been detained for assisting an alleged Russian plot to assassinate Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, reported CNN, citing authorities in Poland and Ukraine.

He was charged with "readiness to act for foreign intelligence against the Republic of Poland," an offence that carries up to eight years in prison if he is found guilty, according to prosecutors.

The Polish authorities alleged that the suspect, Pawel K, was tasked "to help, among other things, in planning by Russian special services a possible attack on the life of the head of a foreign state--President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky," according to a statement on Thursday.

Prosecutors said that the man agreed to provide information to Russian spies about security at Rzeszow-Jasionka airport, in southeastern Poland, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the border with Ukraine, reported CNN.

Zelensky is known to use the airport when leaving on foreign trips, as it is one of the closest airports to the Ukrainian border.

Moreover, the airport often receives military aid and civilian goods from the US and across Europe, as Ukraine's airspace remains closed to non-military flights.

Ukrainian authorities highlighted that they uncovered the plot and handed key evidence to Polish officials, who then detained the accused on Polish territory, according to CNN.

The Polish prosecutors said the man had contacted Russians "directly involved in the war in Ukraine," though it was not clear from official statements whether he had handed over any information or even collected it.

Notably, it is not the first time Ukraine has claimed to have unveiled an attempt to kill President Zelensky, who has been energetic in rallying Western support.

Moreover, the Ukrainian President has faced several known attempts on his life since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

In August 2023, the Ukrainian Security Service, the SBU, arrested a woman who had been allegedly "gathering intelligence" about a planned visit by the president to the southern region of Mykolaiv, in order to help plan a Russian airstrike.

Reportedly, the Polish man was arrested just hours after German police said that they had arrested two suspected Russian agents in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth.

The two individuals, identified as German-Russian nationals, are accused of plotting sabotage attacks and planning an explosive detonation, according to a statement by the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office in Karlsruhe, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, one of the men had been in contact with a Russian intelligence agent, the statement said, adding that among the potential targets scouted were US army facilities in Germany.

"Our security authorities have prevented possible explosive detonations that were intended to affect and undermine our military aid to Ukraine. This is a particularly serious case of suspected agent activity for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's criminal regime," Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser said during a press conference in Berlin.

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However, the Russian Embassy in Berlin dismissed the accusations as an "outright provocation," TASS reported