Ukrainian president’s aide survives assassination attempt



Ukrainian police said in a statement that a car Serhiy Shefir was in came under gunfire in Lisnyky village around 10 a.m., with more than 10 bullets hitting the vehicle. The driver was injured.

A special police operation is underway to search for the perpetrators and the police are appealing for information on the circumstances of the “attempted murder on the lives of two Ukrainian citizens”.

President Zelensky, who is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, said he did not yet know who was responsible for the attack but described it as a sign of weakness to target one of his collaborators.

Zelensky said in a video posted to Facebook that he would return to Ukraine after delivering his speech at the UN later on Wednesday.

“Frankly, I don’t know who’s behind this yet,” Zelensky said. “Texting me by pulling my friend’s car is a weakness.”

Shefir later appeared during a briefing at the country’s interior ministry.

“All I can say for myself is that the attempt was made to intimidate the highest levels of power. But our president has willpower, you are not intimidating him with anything. public supports it, ”Shefir said.

Zelensky ruling party politician David Arakhamia told state news agency Ukrinform that Shefir was in “shock” but not injured.

“I had a short conversation with him … He says he was shot, but the driver was hit … The car was hit by an automatic weapon, as far as I know. The driver received three gunshot wounds, he was hospitalized, ”Arakhamia said.

Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, told Ukrinform that the incident could only be seen as a “deliberate” attempt to “kill a key member of the team”.

“It is obvious that this open, deliberate and extremely brutal attack using automatic weapons can only be characterized as an attempt to demonstrably kill a key member of the team,” Podoliak said.

A photo released by the press office of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry shows the impact of the bullet on the vehicle.

Although authorities have not determined who is responsible or a motive, Podoliak said it could be linked to policies aimed at reducing the “traditional influence” of the oligarchs. “I will say right away that we certainly associate this attack with an aggressive and even militant campaign against the active policy of the head of state,” Podoliak added.

Zelensky pledged his government’s response would be “strong” and said he would continue his efforts to fight corruption and reform the country.

“The strength of our team will not be affected. The course that I have chosen with my team, to change, to clean up our economy, to fight against crime, and against the big and powerful financial groups – it does not affect that in Au on the contrary … the Ukrainian people gave me a mandate for changes, “he said.

The Kremlin has rejected claims by a Ukrainian parliamentarian that the apparent assassination attempt may have “a Russian trace.” Arakhamia, leader of the ruling party’s parliamentary faction, said he was “inclined to think of this as a ‘hello’ message to our team.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said attempts to find a link with Russia were due to an “overly high emotional state” in Ukraine.

“Unfortunately for us these days, no matter what happens in Ukraine, none of the active politicians are able to rule out the Russian trace,” Peskov said.

CNN’s Anna Chernova contributed to this report.


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