Hundreds of Russian mercenaries were dispatched to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky. Between 2,000 and 4,000 mercenaries from the Wagner Group, a private army thought to be owned by Vladimir Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, invaded Ukraine through Belarus in January.
Russia’s #1 target is to assassinate Ukraine’s President
According to the article, 400 of them were transferred to Kyiv, while others were dispatched to the pro-Kremlin territories of Donetsk and Luhansk. Zelenskyy’s name is at the top of the Wagner Group’s assassination list, which includes Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, The Times reported.
On Saturday morning, information about their objective reached the Ukrainian government, and hours later, Kyiv imposed a 36-hour “hard” curfew to search the city for Russian saboteurs, telling people that if they walked outside, they would be considered as Kremlin operatives and risk being “liquidated.”
The Kremlin offered “hefty payments” to oust Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s administration. The amount of the reward is unknown. On Saturday morning, Ukrainian intelligence learned of the order, prompting Kyiv to declare a 36-hour “hard” curfew in order to sweep the city for Russian agents, according to the report.
Last Friday, Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared he was the “number one target” in Ukraine for Russian assassins and that “enemy sabotage units” had invaded the city. Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday and began pounding key towns, but Ukrainians on the ground have met Moscow’s soldiers with fierce resistance.
Ukraine agrees to peace talks with Russia
In the wake of the invasion, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union imposed severe economic and logistical sanctions on Russian individuals and entities. Putin retaliated by ordering Russia’s nuclear deterrence to be placed on high alert on Sunday, a move the UK dismissed as a ruse.
Ukraine said on Sunday that it has agreed to meet with Russia on Monday near the Belarus border. At the time of publication, the discussions were still going on. The Wagner Group mercenaries, however, have been warned by Putin that he has no intention of negotiating with Ukraine, as per Business Insider.