1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Ukraine updates: Kyiv says it foiled plot to kill Zelenskyy

Published May 7, 2024last updated May 7, 2024

Ukraine's intelligence agency says it has caught a network of Russian agents plotting to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and others. Follow DW for more.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
In 2022, the first year of Russia's war in Ukraine, Zelensky said there had been at least 10 attempts to assassinate himImage: Thomas Coex/AFP
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

Ukraine's security service, SBU, said on Tuesday that it detained two Ukrainian security officials for alleged involvement in a plot to kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other government officials.

The SBU said the Russian network was working within the state guard service.

Here's a look at the latest on Russia's war in Ukraine on Tuesday, May 7.

Skip next section Chemical weapons allegations in Ukraine lack substance, says OPCW
May 7, 2024

Chemical weapons allegations in Ukraine lack substance, says OPCW

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Tuesday that although both Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of using chemical weapons in the current conflict, none of the claims was backed up by enough evidence so far to take action.

"The information provided to the Organization so far by both sides, together with the information available to the Secretariat, is insufficiently substantiated," the group said.

The OPCW also said it had not yet received an official request to investigate any claims, despite US accusations last week that Russia had used the toxic agent chloropicrin against Ukrainian troops.

All the same, the OPCW  described the situation as "volatile" and "extremely concerning regarding the possible reemergence of use of toxic chemicals as weapons."

Skip next section Poland's Tusk says Europe must increase defense capability
May 7, 2024

Poland's Tusk says Europe must increase defense capability

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said that increased spending on defense is vital for Europe to be able to avoid conflicts.

Speaking at a meeting of politicians and business figures in Katowice, Tusk said EU countries should increase spending on defense by at least €100 billion ($107 billion).

"Europe must be prepared in the next dozen or so months and the entire next five years for a situation in which no power in the world will dare raise a hand against it," he said.

"Big money will move the war away from Europe's borders for a long time, perhaps permanently," he added.

Poland has already begun building up its defense capabilities in view of Russia's invasion of neighboring Ukraine and has allocated more than 4% of its GDP to military spending.

Tusk also reiterated his call for establishing a joint European air defense system. He said such a system "must become a European project that will be a financial effort to build a dome over Europe," he said.

"We have many more initiatives and meetings than real actions to defend the European sky," he added.

Skip next section Belarus announces nuclear drills
May 7, 2024

Belarus announces nuclear drills

Belarus is carrying out checks to ensure its army is ready to deploy tactical nuclear weapons, Russian state media and the Belarusian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry said it had begun a surprise inspection of its non-strategic nuclear weapons carriers at the orders of President Alexander Lukashenko.

The drills in Belarus are being carried out at the same time as similar drills in Russia, a close ally, the media said.

Russia said on Monday it would practice deploying tactical nuclear weapons following what Moscow called threats from France, Britain and the United States.

Lukashenko said in April that a number of Russian tactical nuclear weapons had been delivered to Belarus under an agreement announced last year by himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Fortifying borders: Is Ukraine shifting to defense?

Skip next section Ukraine's SBU says uncovers Russian assassination plot
May 7, 2024

Ukraine's SBU says uncovers Russian assassination plot

Ukraine's State Security Service (SBU) said it had caught Russian agents within the Ukrainian state guard service who were plotting to kill President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other senior government officials.

"Counterintelligence and SBU investigators thwarted the FSB's (Russia's security service) plans to eliminate the president of Ukraine and other representatives of the top military and political leadership," the SBU said on Telegram.

A statement said that two colonels in the State Guard of Ukraine, which protects top officials, were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the plan.

Both were recruited to the service before Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, according to the statement.

SBU chief Vasyl Maliuk was quoted as saying that the planned assassination was meant to be "a gift" for Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of his auguration to a fifth term on May 7.

Zelenskyy said in 2022 there had been at least 10 attempts to assassinate him

The announcement comes a few days after Zelenskyy sacked Ilya Vityuk, the head of the SBU's cybersecurity department, amid allegations of corruption.

Ukraine says it thwarted Zelenskyy assassination plot

Skip next section Putin vows 'victory' for Russians at lavish inauguration
May 7, 2024

Putin vows 'victory' for Russians at lavish inauguration

Vladimir Putin
Putin could become the longest-ever-serving Russian leaderImage: Kremlin.ru via REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told Russians at his inauguration that "we will win" despite the challenges facing the country as it continues with its all-out invasion of Ukraine.

In remarks made as he embarked on an unprecedented fifth term as president, Putin said, "We will pass through this difficult period with dignity and become even stronger." 

He was apparently referring to the problems created by the sanctions packages the West has imposed on Russia for Moscow's invasion.

The ceremony at the Kremlin was boycotted by the United States and a number of other Western countries due to Russia's actions in Ukraine.

Putin, 71, won a landslide victory in March in elections that were considered neither free nor fair by most of the international community.  

His most prominent opponent, Alexei Navalny, died suddenly in an Arctic penal colony a month earlier, while other leading critics and opposition figures are in jail or have been forced to flee abroad.