Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov told Putin he'd help assassinate Zelenskyy, top Ukrainian official says

Putin Ramzan Kadyrov
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) greets Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov (R) in Moscow, Russia, on September, 23, 2016.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
  • Ramzan Kadyrov and Vladimir Putin discussed plans to kill Zelenskyy, a Ukrainian official said.

  • Oleksiy Danilov told Radio NV the leaders met three weeks before Russia's invasion on February 24.

  • Three groups working for Kadyrov were sent to Ukraine, but failed to carry out the plan, he said.

Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov said he'd provide help with assassination attempts on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a top Ukrainian official said Thursday.

The Ukrainian Secretary of the National Security and Defence, Oleksiy Danilov, told Radio NV that Kadyrov and Putin discussed plans to send a group of Chechen assassins to kill Zelenskyy in a meeting on February 3.

The meeting, which Danilov said was "tracked" by Ukrainian intelligence, was held exactly three weeks before Putin launched a full invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

"At this meeting, a plan to eliminate our president was agreed upon, and Kadyrov pledged that his group would do so," Danilov told Radio NV.

Danilvov said that three groups working for Kadyrov were deployed to Ukraine to carry out the plan two days after the start of the invasion.

They did not go earlier because they had been waiting for a "green corridor" to safely get to the government headquarters in Kyiv, he added.

But the assassins were not successful on their mission.

"We followed all three groups. One of them was destroyed by our military. Two of them left our country after that," Danilov said.

Insider was unable to independently verify these claims.

Last month, another top Ukrainian official told the Ukrayinska Pravda newspaper that, as of March 10, there had been "more than a dozen such attempts" made on Zelenskyy's life. He did not provide any evidence for these claims.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has denied that Russia wanted to kill Zelenskyy, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

Kadyrov is a Putin loyalist whose private militia — also known as "Kadyrovites" — are widely reported to have been fighting in support of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Translations by Oleksandr Vynogradov.

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