May 24, 2022

Russia sending 400 mercenaries to hunt down and assassinate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

President Vladimir Putin is at war with neighboring Ukraine. Now his operatives may be coming for that country’s leader.

More than 400 members of a Russian militia group are on the hunt to assassinate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Washington Examiner reported. They were flown into the embattled nation with the promise of a “handsome financial bonus” if they succeeded.

“They are very effective because they are hard to pin down,” former commander of the British Joint Forces Command Gen. Sir Richard Barrons said of the Wagner Group. “They can appear from the shadows, do very violent things, and then disappear again without it being obvious who was responsible,” he warned.

“They are not directly linked to the Russian government, and therefore [Kremlin officials] are plausibly deniable,” Barrons said. There’s also reportedly a bounty on nearly two dozen officials, including Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Vitali Klitschko, mayor of Kyiv.

Zelensky has not backed down in the face of such threats even as he knows that “the enemy marked me as target No. 1 — my family as target No. 2,” the Ukrainian president said.

“They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state. We have information that enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv,” Zelensky said. However, the Ukrainian president will not leave despite many calls for him to evacuate. “The fight is here. I need ammunition, not a ride,” he said.

Contrast that attitude with President Joe Biden whose weakness emboldened Putin in the first place. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration is looking to “reduce the tension” after Putin readied his nuclear forces over the weekend, but has taken little meaningful action.

Zelensky faces a formidable opponent who is now looking to personally take him and his family out. However, Zelensky is brave in the face of such danger which only makes it more troubling that his American counterpart has been so painfully weak.

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