Ukraine MP laughs off Russian hit squad threat as 'an honour'
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Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has seen the Kremlin reportedly send hit squads behind Ukrainian lines to target members of Ukraine’s Parliament and other government officials. Ukraine MP Dymtro Gurin has laughed off the danger, telling Express.co.uk that being on Putin’s kill list is “an honour.”
Mr Gurin told Express.co.uk: “Of course, we think about our safety.
“Because I know our intelligence proved that I’m on Putin’s shoot list, and of course, everybody understands that it’s pretty dangerous.
“So for example we don’t disclose all locations, but to be on these lists are kind of honourable.”
He added: “But understands…it’s not the war of the Ukrainian army it’s the War of the whole country, the whole nation.
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Mr Gurn continued: “The whole nation looks for these diversion troops, the whole nations think about their security.
“I mean of course we see risks but we don’t fear about them, we are just practical about them.”
Russian assassinations squads made up of Chechens, special forces and mercenaries from the Wagner Group are believed to have been operating in Kyiv for over six weeks.
The squads have been reported to have been assigned 24 high-profile Ukrainian targets to track and kill.
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At the top of the list is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who has survived at least three assassination attempts.
In one reported incident, would-be assassins were “eliminated” by Ukrainian security services.
It is believed that the Ukrainian security forces had been tipped off by anti-war factions in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, said: “I can say that we have received information from the FSB, who do not want to take part in this bloody war.
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“And thanks to this, the Kadyrov elite group was destroyed, which came here to eliminate our president.”
Ramzan Kadyrov is the President of Chechnya and a key Kremlin ally.
In a further sign that Vladimir Putin is having to rethink his objectives, the Russian defence ministry said that having completed the “first phase” of operations they would now focus on the Donbas region, part-held by Russian-backed separatist rebels.
Western officials said it could mean a “pause” in operations around Kyiv and elsewhere as the Russians move resources into the east of the county.
One official added scathingly: “As the first phase of the operation included taking Kyiv within four days I would probably contest the idea that they have achieved the first phase of the operation.”
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