KEY POINTS

  • The assassination squad comprised of members of Kadyrovtsy 
  • The Kadyrovtsy reports to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov
  • Ukraine claims certain sources in FSB  oppose the invasion

As war rages on, Ukraine has claimed that it thwarted a bid to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky, thanks to the info leaked by the disillusioned members of Russia's Federal Security Service.

Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council chief Oleksiy Danilov said the sympathetic members of Russia's Federal Security Service, better known by the Russian acronym FSB, tipped off Ukrainian authorities about the murder attempt, according to The Drive.

Danilov added that an elite squad of Chechen troops was behind the attempted murder, and was killed by Ukrainian forces, said local media reports. The Chechens are members of Kadyrovtsy, a paramilitary force that reports directly to Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, which is one of Russia's 22 ethnically defined republics.

"They were divided into two groups, we were tracking them. One group was handled near Hostomel, the other one is in our sights," said Danilov as quoted by The New Voice Of Ukraine.

He said certain sources in Russia’s FSB security service oppose Russia's bid to invade Ukraine. The Office of the President of Ukraine had earlier said that Ukrainian troops have destroyed a detachment of Chechen soldiers, led by Mohammad Tushaev, near Hostomel. 

Though there is no independently verifiable evidence to go along with this reported assassination attempt, Zelensky had already said there were "sabotage groups" inside Kyiv hunting for him and his family. The U.S. too had said that Kremlin had a list of Ukrainians, including Zelensky, who had to be killed or captured. 

Earlier, footage showing the presence of Chechen special operations forces in Hostomel and Kyiv did rounds on social media. This came after Chechyna's Kadyrov publicly pledged to send thousands more forces to join the fighting in Ukraine.  

Meanwhile, reports are emerging that Russian forces have successfully seized the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson.

Footage taken from a publicly available closed-circuit television feeds in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson appears to shows an array of Russian military vehicles parked outside of the building that serves as the seat of the government for the entire region, and otherwise appearing to operate freely. This could indicate that Russian forces have secured the city after days of fighting. 

Though the Kherson Regional State Administration Head Hennadii Lahuta claimed on his Facebook page that the city of Kherson has not been occupied and is remaining Ukrainian controlled, videos show Russian military vehicles parked outside of the building that serves as the seat of the government for the entire region.

The fight for Kherson had been raging for days with Russian forces encircling it. The occupies a strategic location and its capture could open up new paths of advance for Russian forces heading north. 

Defiant videos posted on social media have become a key part of Zelensky's communication strategy. Defiant videos posted on social media have become a key part of Zelensky's communication strategy. Photo: FACEBOOK / @Volodymyr Zelensky via AFP