Russian lawmakers' group chat exposes scheme to assassinate Volodymyr Zelenskyy: report
Newly leaked messages expose Russian lawmakers' plan to conspire to assassinate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and "bomb" Ukraine "into oblivion," The Daily Beast reports.
Per NBC, Russia blamed "Ukrainian saboteurs of crossing its border and staging a 'terrorist attack' on local villages," in Bryanak this week, which Kyiv-based officials say "was a false 'provocation' that could be used by Moscow to escalate the conflict."
The ambush, which the Kremlin's messengers in Moscow "touted as a 'Ukrainian terrorist attack,'" The Daily Beast reports, resulted in the deaths of two people and one injured child.
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The Daily Beast reports:
The official version of events from the Kremlin is that Ukrainian 'Nazis' and 'saboteurs' stormed over the border into Russia, invaded two villages, shot up a car, took hostages, and scattered explosive devices throughout the area.
In January, according to Newsweek, Russian lawmaker Andrey Gurulyova discussed his book, The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden's White House, on the Russia-1 program 60 Minutes, revealing the book reads "before Russia invaded Ukraine last February, CIA Director Bill Burns traveled to Kyiv to inform Zelenskyy of a Russian plan to assassinate him."
A group identifying itself as the Russian Volunteer Corps appeared to claim credit for the alleged attack in a social media post and videos that were shared widely online.
The group denied that a Ukrainian sabotage unit was involved, though it describes itself as 'a volunteer formation in the Armed Forces of Ukraine' opposed to Putin.
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According to the Beast, independent news outlet Verstka reports a Russian official said in "a private chat" to colleagues, "We will destroy, we will rebuild."
Mikhail Delyagin said, "the 'only normal response' to the incident is the 'immediate elimination of Zelenskyy and [Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valerii] Zaluzhnyi.'"
Then, a handful of "Kremlin-connected military bloggers jumped on board, calling for Ukrainian leaders to be assassinated using 'Mossad methods' and wiped out like 'Chechen terrorists.'"
Another official said, "Zelenskyy is f***ed."
However, per The Daily Beast, "even some pro-Kremlin" officials blasted Russian military heads for the incident, wondering "how the 'saboteurs' had managed to pull off such an attack in the first place, with one high-profile propaganda channel questioning 'how they entered and left so calmly.'"
The Daily Beast reports:
Though a group of Russian volunteers took credit for the mayhem—led by a well-known Russian neo-Nazi who has openly spoken about his past cooperation with the security services, though he now says he is fighting for Ukraine—the incident seems to portend a dark new phase in the war against Ukraine. One after one, Putin's minions in parliament and mouthpieces on social media immediately called for revenge, arguing that the "red line" had been crossed and it was now time to go to war for real (as opposed to just lobbing cruise missiles at civilians.)
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The Daily Beast's full report is available at this link (subscription required). Newsweek's report is here. NBC's report is here.
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