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Zelensky bodyguard told his men to surrender – The Times

The former colonel was arrested on charges of attempting to assassinate Ukrainian leaders, the British newspaper has reported

One of the Ukrainian officers arrested earlier this month for allegedly trying to assassinate the country’s leaders told his men to lay down their arms after the conflict with Russia erupted over two years ago, The Times has claimed.

The SBU, Kiev’s security agency and successor to the Soviet KGB, has arrested two colonels serving in the State Security Administration, which is responsible for the personal protection of senior officials. On Sunday, the British newspaper reported new details about their alleged activities.

The SBU claims Andrey Guk and a subordinate named Derkach were willing to assist Russia in executing a coordinated missile strike, which would have killed Vladimir Zelensky and other senior figures in the Ukrainian government sometime in early May.

The Times spoke to an SBU insider, who claimed on condition of anonymity that Guk had become a traitor right after the Ukraine conflict erupted, when he instructed presidential bodyguards not to resist Russian forces.

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FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky during a meeting with German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck in Kiev.
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“He told them: ‘We are not the armed forces, we don’t have a particular task to defend Ukraine and I’m not paid enough to organize Brest Fortress here,’” the officer said, referring to an outpost in Belarus, which heroically stood against a Nazi onslaught during Adolf Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union.

According to the report, Guk retained his position because his words were dismissed as an emotional outburst. The Times said his men had “realized he was acting under orders from” the Russian intelligence, which came as a shock.

The colonel’s alleged betrayal could be explained by the fact that he was born in Russia, the newspaper suggested. The SBU claims that Guk also received some $3,000 a month plus expenses while working for Moscow.

After the Ukrainian agency first claimed that it had thwarted an assassination plot involving the two colonels, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said no statements coming from the SBU “can be treated as truthful.” The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) said last week that the arrests were likely connected to Zelensky’s attempts to purge all people he does not trust, as his popularity dwindles.

READ MORE: Zelensky fires state security chief

Zelensky’s five-year term in office has expired, and he has postponed elections under the martial law that remains in force in Ukraine. Ruslan Stefanchuk, the speaker of the national parliament, declared last Thursday that only “enemies of Ukraine” express doubts regarding Zelensky’s claim to the presidency.

May 27, 2024 at 05:50PM

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