Ukraine says it foiled plot by Russian GRU to kill defence minister

Ukraine says it foiled plot by Russian GRU to kill defence minister

On Monday, Ukraine arrested two people who worked for Russian intelligence services who planned to kill Ukraine's defence minister and head of its military intelligence agency, the SBU, on Monday August 8 The Security Service of Ukraine foiled the plot by the Russian GRU military intelligence agency to use a sabotage group to carry out three murders including that of a prominent Ukrainian activist, the agency said in a statement.

The assertions could not be independently verified by Reuters.

There was no immediate reaction to the Ukrainian statement from Moscow or Russian state-owned media.

The suspects, a resident of the eastern Luhansk region held by Russia-backed separatists and the other a resident of Ukraine's capital Kyiv, were promised by Russian handlers up to US $150,000 for the murder of each of their targets, the SBU said.

The man from the Luhansk region entered Ukraine from Belarus and was arrested in the city of Kovel in northwestern Ukraine along with the Kyiv resident, the statement said.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 24 and security for top officials is extremely tight. Kyiv's government district is cordoned off with checkpoints manned by armed men. Sandbags are piled up in the windows and entrances of government buildings.

The SBU has been in the spotlight recently after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy forced out its head and the state prosecutor general last month, citing dozens of cases of collaboration with Russia by officials in their agencies.