Ukraine’s security services said on Tuesday that they had foiled a Russian plot to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky and other top military and political figures. Two Ukrainian colonels accused of participating in the plot have been arrested on suspicion of treason.

The Ukrainian domestic intelligence agency, the S.B.U., said in a statement that the plot had involved a network of agents — including the two colonels — that was run by Russia’s Federal Security Service, or F.S.B., the main successor to the K.G.B. According to the S.B.U., the agents working at Russia’s direction were tasked with identifying people close to Mr. Zelensky’s security detail who could take him hostage and later kill him.

The agency’s statement said the other top Ukrainian officials targeted in the plot included Vasyl Malyuk, the head of the S.B.U., and Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency. The Ukrainian claims could not be independently verified.

It is not the first time that Ukraine has reported a potential assassination attempt aimed at its top leaders. Mr. Zelensky said in an interview with an Italian television channel earlier this year that his security services had told him of more than 10 such efforts.

Ukraine’s security services offered few details about previous assassination plots. But this time, the agency went to some length in its statement to describe how the Ukrainian officials were to be killed.

The services said the two colonels accused in the plot belonged to the State Security Administration, which protects top officials. They had been recruited before the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, according to the statement, which identified three F.S.B. members — Maxim Mishustin, Dmytro Perlin and Oleksiy Kornev — as running the operation from Moscow. The two Ukrainian colonels were not named.


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