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Sunday, June 11, 2023

We want to kill Putin – Ukrainian deputy intelligence chief

Vadim Skibitsky claimed to the media that the Russian president can feel Kiev’s operatives “getting closer to him”

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is on Ukraine’s kill list, the deputy chief of the country’s intelligence agency has revealed. Vadim Skibitsky added that his subordinates are also hunting down top Russian military commanders.

Speaking to Germany’s Die Welt media outlet on Wednesday, Skibitsky was asked whether his service is trying to assassinate the Russian head of state. The Ukrainian official replied by saying that President Putin “notices that we’re getting ever closer to him.

Read more: US Air Force chief comments on impact of F-16s in Ukraine

According to Skibitsky, the Ukrainian intelligence service has failed to kill Putin because he “stays holed up,” but added that the Russian commander-in-chief “is now beginning to stick his head out.”  

When he does appear publicly, however, the intelligence agency is “not sure whether it’s really him,” Skibitsky insisted.

He added that his subordinates were “trying to kill” Yevgeny Prighozhin, the head of the Wagner private military company.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov have also been marked for elimination by the Ukrainian intelligence service, its deputy chief claimed.

Read more: Ukraine claims it will ‘win the war’ with F-16s

When asked whether Kiev was behind the assassinations of journalist and activist Darya Dugina last August and military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky in late April, as well as the attempt on the life of writer Zakhar Prilepin earlier this month, Skibitsky claimed that these had been ‘inside jobs’.

The Ukrainian official also alleged that various groups within the Russian elite were fighting each other for power.

Skibitsky added that Russian “propagandists” are not the top priority targets for his service as opposed to Russian military unit commanders. He claimed that Kiev had managed to assassinate some of this top brass but refused to give any names or numbers.