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Rabu, 22 September 2021

Shots fired at car carrying Ukrainian President's key aide in attack labelled assassination attempt - ABC News

Shots fired at Ukraine presidential aide's car in assassination bid

A volley of shots has been fired at a car carrying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's principal aide in what a senior official has called an assassination attempt.

More than 10 bullets hit the car near the village of Lesnyky, just outside the capital Kyiv, injuring the driver, a police statement said.

It said a criminal case on suspicion of premeditated murder had been opened.

A local television station said at least 19 bullet holes could be seen on the driver's side of the car.

A senior politician said the aide, Serhiy Shefir, was not hurt. Mr Shefir is close to the President, leading a group of advisers.

Mr Zelenskiy, who is in the United States attending the UN General Assembly, said he did not know who was behind the attack, but it could domestic or foreign powers.

"Who is behind this? Frankly, I do not know. What are these powers? Could be internal, maybe external. Saying 'hello' to me with shots from the forest at my friend's car is a weakness," he said in a televised statement.

The head of the President's political party, Oleksandr Korniienko, said Russia could be behind the attack.

Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, reacts as he responds to a journalist question during a press conference.
Mr Zelenskiy is currently in the US.(

AP: Emilio Morenatti

)

"A Russian trace should not be absolutely ruled out. We know their ability to organise terrorist attacks in different countries," Mr Korniienko told reporters.

The Kremlin said suggestions of Russian involvement had "nothing to do with reality".

Mr Zelenskiy's adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said the attempt to assassinate the aide could be a result of the President's fight against the country's oligarchs.

"This open, deliberate and extremely violent assault with automatic weapons cannot be qualified any differently than as an attempted killing of a key team member," Mr Podolyak said.

"We, of course, associate this attack with an aggressive and even militant campaign against the active policy of the head of state," local media quoted Mr Podolyak as saying.

"The President's policy aimed at fundamental transformation of the state will remain unchanged," he said, promising tougher measures against oligarchs.

Parliament is this week due to debate a presidential law directed at reducing the influence of oligarchs. 

Markers are attached next to bullet holes in a car
Local media reports 19 bullets were shot at the car.(

Reuters: Serhii Nuzhnenko

)

Mr Zelenskiy said he would double down on his planned reforms rather than back off.

"It does not affect the strength of our team, the course that I have chosen with my team — to change, to clean up our economy, to fight crime and large, influential financial groups," he said.

"This does not affect that. On the contrary, because the Ukrainian people have given me a mandate for changes."

Reuters

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2021-09-22 12:08:43Z
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