An elite Russian killing squad sent to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky has been neutralised, according to Ukrainian officials.
During a televised address, Kyiv’s Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council Oleksiy Danilov said the unit “which came to kill our President, was eliminated”.
It was sent by Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Russia’s Chechnya region and an ally of Vladimir Putin, the Daily Mirror reports.
Speaking on Ukraine's 24 TV channel, Danilov said: "We are already aware of the special operation that was to be carried out by Kadyrov forces unit.
"We received the information from representatives of Russia's Federal Security Service who do not want to take part in this bloody war.
"The Kadyrov forces unit, which came to kill our President, was eliminated."
He went on to note the unit had been divided into two groups and was closely followed.
According to him, one group came under fire in Hostomel, while another group is currently being held at gunpoint.
Danilov added: "We will not give our President or our country to anyone. This is our land, get out of here."
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In the hours after the Russians invaded on Thursday morning, Zelensky went into hiding and said he feared for his life and that of his family’s.
He said in a video address from his secret location, he had been marked "target number one" by Russian forces on a mission to “abduct” him and take control of the capital.
He claimed that his family's lives are at risk by Russian "sabotage groups" who had moved into the capital city.
Over the weekend, it was then reported that roughly 400 mercenaries were operating in Kyiv under the Kremlin’s orders with the aim of assassinating Zelensky.
Armed militia from the Wagner Group were flown into the capital from Africa five weeks ago, it's claimed.
The militia was ordered to decapitate Zelensky’s government in return for a handsome financial bonus.
The scheme was part of Putin's plan to try and seize Kyiv, knockout the government and conquer the country within 48 hours.
The Ukrainian government got wind of the mission on Saturday morning and mere hours later Kyiv declared a 36-hour 'hard' curfew to sweep the city of saboteurs, the Times reports.
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