Ukrainian officials claim they have uncovered and foiled an assassination attempt against President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The alleged plot involved a unit of elite Chechen special forces, according to the National Council for Security and Defence of Ukraine.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the council, said in a televised address that Ukraine had killed the suspected plotters.
They had reportedly been sent by Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Chechnya and an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A Chechen unit “came to kill our president, and was eliminated,” Danilov said during a briefing on Tuesday.
According to a post on Telegram, Danilov also claimed that Kyiv had been informed of the assassination plot by Russia’s own Federal Security Service (FSB). The allegations have not been independently verified.
“We are well aware of the special operation that was to take place … to eliminate our president,” the statement read.
“We received information from the FSB, who … do not want to take part in this bloody war,” he added.
Danilov said that one group of the unit had been destroyed in the northern Kyiv region of Hostomel, while the other was “under fire”.
Since the start of the invasion, President Zelenskyy has stated that is “target number one” for Russian forces.
Last Thursday, he had warned Ukrainian citizens that Russian “sabotage groups” had entered Kyiv and were hunting for him and his family.
Zelenskyy was asked to evacuate Kyiv at the behest of the US government but turned down the offer, stating “the fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride”.