Volodymyr Zelensky said he has managed to survive multiple attempts on his life, which he believes were orchestrated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Zelensky revealed that his intelligence services have thwarted "five or six" plots since the start of the Russian invasion in February last year. While he found the first attempt "very interesting," subsequent ones were similar to dealing with COVID-19 - causing some initial panic but ultimately manageable.
On February 24, 2022, Russian special forces parachuted into Kyiv at the start of the war. Despite their attempted assassination, Zelensky and his closest staff successfully defended their office with makeshift barricades.
They were equipped with rifles and body armour to protect themselves. As fears grew that Kyiv would fall within hours, British and US officials offered Zelensky a way out of the capital. However, he refused their offer and declared, "I need ammo, not a ride." In a bold act of defiance on that same day, Zelensky left the compound and recorded a selfie to show that he was still in Kyiv.
After nearly two years, he claims Putin is still determined to remove him. His team has informed him of the latest mission, known as Operation Maidan 3, aimed at ousting him. He's unsure if this operation is meant to eliminate him or simply take away his leadership role.
Zelensky has also rejected the idea of holding elections next year, citing the need to focus on defeating Moscow. Recently, Ukrainian intelligence reported thwarting a plot to assassinate him through an airstrike in Mykolaiv.
The SBU arrested a woman for sharing information about his trip to Russia. However, Zelensky opted not to address any potential retaliatory actions by Ukraine.
Despite multiple casualties among pro-Russian collaborators, including car bomb attacks which are suspected to be carried out by special forces under Kyiv's orders, the president declined to disclose any information about Ukrainian intelligence, the Secret Service, or other unspecified special forces.
He added that there are certain matters that cannot be discussed, not only within Russia but also on territories currently under temporary occupation.