The Security Service of Ukraine has prevented a series of contract murders of top Ukrainian military and political leadership and public figures by detaining hitmen of the Russian special services who were planning to assassinate the Ukrainian Defence Minister and the head of the Main Directorate of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry, the SBU has reported.
"As a result of a multi-stage special operation, a sabotage and reconnaissance group of the Main Directorate of the Russian General Staff (better known as GRU) was neutralized. The intruders were preparing for the physical elimination of the Minister of Defense and the head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of our state, as well as a well-known Ukrainian activist," the SBU said in a message posted on Monday in the agency's Telegram channel.
According to the Ukrainian special service, Russian "handlers" promised a reward of $100,000 to $150,000 for the murder of each of them.
The report noted that the DRG was formed by cadres of the Russian military intelligence service to carry out subversive activities on the territory of Ukraine.
"It included a resident of temporarily occupied Luhansk, who as part of the illegal armed groups of the terrorist organization "LPR" actively participated in combat operations against the ATO forces in the east. On the instructions of the coordinator from Moscow, it was he who, using his connections among criminal circles, was looking for a killer to commit contract murders," reads the report.
The SBU notes that a resident of Kiev responded to the offer and for $5,000 he agreed to eliminate a Ukrainian military officer who, according to the occupiers, was allegedly involved in the physical killing of Russian prisoners of war.
"This assassination should be a "test case" before the main tasks of the enemy. And for the assassination attempt on the heads of defense agencies, the "liaison" decided to personally arrive in Ukrainian-controlled territory. Here, together with an accomplice, they were to prepare a plan of 'liquidation' and present it for approval to their superiors in Russia," the Ukrainian special service informs.
According to the report, the attacker disguised the routes of movement, so he entered Ukraine through the territory of Belarus. SBU officers documented his arrival in the Volyn region through the checkpoint Domanovo and meeting with an accomplice.
"In order to prevent the commission of especially serious crimes, the counterintelligence officers of the Security Service with the involvement of fighters of CSO "A" detained both intruders in Kovel. During a search of the "liaison" evidence of criminal activities, as well as a passport of a Russian citizen were found. Both detainees are suspected of treason under martial law and premeditated murder. The issue of a preventive measure in the form of detention is being resolved," the report says.
Measures to expose the crimes were carried out by employees of the Main Department of the SBU in Kyiv and Kyiv region together with units of the SBU in Volyn region, the National Police and under the procedural guidance of the Pechersk district prosecutor's office in Kyiv.