Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he has mislaid count of assassination attempts he’s survived, comparing them to bouts of Covid.
In an interview pinch nan British tabloid The Sun, he said that he’s survived "no fewer" than 5 aliases six attempts connected his life since Russia invaded Ukraine past year, but that each consequent effort makes it little intimidating.
NBC News could not independently verify Zelenskyy’s claims astir attempts connected his life.
“The first 1 is very interesting, erstwhile it is nan first time, and aft that it is conscionable for illustration Covid,” Zelenskyy said. “First of all, group don’t cognize what to do pinch it and it’s looking very scary. And past aft that, it is conscionable intelligence sharing pinch you item that 1 much group came to Ukraine to [attempt] this.”
Zelenskyy regularly moves astir nan country, visiting beforehand lines and liberated cities, nether strict security. In nan capital, Kyiv, he useful retired of a high-security complex. In nan early days of nan war, he said he and his family were superior targets of Russia, but Ukraine has seldom publically revealed immoderate attempts connected his life.
In August, Ukrainian authorities said they detained an informant who was sharing intelligence pinch Russia arsenic portion of a crippled to assassinate Zelenskyy.
When Russia invaded Ukraine astatine nan opening of 2022, it was wide expected to overrun nan state quickly. The first occurrence of nan Ukrainian counterattack, and nan nonaccomplishment of Russian forces to oust nan democratically elected authorities successful Kyiv, has fixed way to what his apical wide calls a stalemate.
Zelensky told nan Sun that Russia still “wants very much” to topple him from power, and he claimed to moreover cognize nan codename of its latest ngo to oust him; its deadline, he said, is nan extremity of nan year.
“The sanction of cognition is Maidan 3. It is meant to alteration nan president,” he said. “Maybe it’s not by killing. I mean it’s changing. They will usage immoderate instruments they have.”
Maidan Nezalezhnosti, besides known arsenic conscionable Maidan, is simply a quadrate successful nan bosom of Kyiv that has been nan tract of wide protests complete nan years. In 2014, a activity based location led to a bloody rebellion and nan toppling of nan country’s pro-Russian government, precipitating nan Russian annexation of nan Crimean Peninsula and nan warfare pinch Kremlin-backed separatists successful Ukraine’s east. Moscow has called nan 2014 Maidan protests an forbidden coup.
Zelenskyy, a erstwhile comedian, has go a awesome of Ukraine’s struggle against Russia. His signature subject fatigues, stubble and regular video updates astir nan warfare person made him somewhat of a cult fig successful nan West. Many subject observers in installments his persistence successful keeping nan warfare successful Ukraine and its subject needs astatine nan apical of nan world schedule for nan country’s expertise to stave disconnected nan Russian army, acold much superior successful manpower and fighting power, for this long.
But pinch nan escalation of nan Israeli-Hamas conflict, nan warfare successful Ukraine has been little salient successful world headlines, and Zelenzkyy has tried to soft complete soul tensions pinch his apical subject commander, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, who has suggested earlier this period that nan warfare has now reached a stalemate — thing Zelenskyy has denied — arsenic nan much-touted counteroffensive has grounded to bring astir immoderate awesome breakthroughs for Kyiv.
That has raised questions astir conscionable really agelong nan warfare tin continue, and whether Western subject assistance for Ukraine, including from Washington, will commencement drying up.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made a astonishment sojourn to Kyiv connected Monday successful a awesome that’s not nan case, saying Ukraine’s conflict is “a marathon — not a sprint,” and announced different $100 cardinal assistance package, providing further artillery munitions, aerial defense capabilities and anti-tank weapons.
Speaking pinch nan Sun, Zelenskyy said Ukrainians are fatigued by nan war, but their will to conflict Russia remains strong. “In nan morale, location is nary stalemate,” he said, according to nan newspaper. “We are astatine our home. Russians are connected our land. Therefore location is nary stalemate successful this.
Yuliya Talmazan is simply a London-based journalist.