Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he’s aware of Russia’s latest plot to remove him from power by the end of the year.
Zelenskyy told the Sun in an interview released late Monday that he had already survived at least “five, six” attempted assassinations since the start of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, with the latest campaign to remove him codenamed Operation Maidan 3.
“It means to change the president,” Zelenskyy said. “Maybe it’s not by killing, I mean it’s changing — they will use any instruments they have.” The Kremlin’s deadline is “by the end of the year,” the president added.
The codename appears to be a reference to Ukraine’s 2014 Maidan Revolution, during which protesters toppled the Moscow-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych.
Russia has a history of assassination attempts against its opponents, and Zelenskyy has regularly alluded to the attempts made on his life since the start of the war.
As Ukraine’s wartime leader, he has become the symbol of the country’s refusal to submit to Russia.
In an interview with CNN in July, Zelenskyy explained he could not afford to dwell on the fact that his life was in constant danger.
“Of course, my bodyguards should think how to prevent this from happening, and this is their task. I don’t think about it,” Zelenskyy said.
But Ukrainian officials have acknowledged that a plan for Zelenskyy’s death exists. If the president were to be killed, he would be replaced by the chairperson of the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, as per the country’s constitution.