'Attempt to assassinate Putin two months ago', says top Ukraine official: Report

  • The Caucasus is an area between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, which consists of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and some parts of southern Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.(via REUTERS)
Russian President Vladimir Putin.(via REUTERS)
Updated on May 24, 2022 04:16 PM IST
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Written by Shubhangi Gupta | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan, New Delhi

Russian president Vladimir Putin survived an assassination attempt around two months ago, a top Ukraine intelligence officer told Ukrainska Pravda, an online newspaper based in Kyiv. Kyrylo Budanov, a high-ranking officer with the Ukranian defence ministry, said the attempt - which was not made public, he claimed - had proved 'absolutely unsuccessful'.

"There was an attempt to assassinate Putin… He was even attacked, it is said, by representatives of the Caucasus, not so long ago. This is non-public information. [It was an] Absolutely unsuccessful attempt, but it really happened… It was about 2 months ago."

The Caucasus is an area between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, which consists of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and some parts of southern Russia.

"I repeat, this attempt was unsuccessful. There was no publicity... but it took place."

News of this claimed assassination attempt has not been independently verified, and Ukrainska Pravda has (at the time of writing) yet to publish further details.

Also read | 'I kill criminals, not kids...': Philippine's Rodrigo Duerte smacks down Putin

However, western sources quoted in British publication iNews' report expressed doubt over the veracity of Budanov's claim. "Putin is operating... in a smaller and smaller grouping. He has fewer contacts... fewer public engagements... (any) attempt would be hugely complex."

This is not the first time Putin has reportedly been the target of an assassination; some media reports believe this is a fifth bid while others say it is the sixth.

One plot - Australia's News.com said - was before the 2012 presidential election.

A possible assassination attempt is only one of several rumours floating around regarding the Russian president's health and life as his war on Ukraine rumbles into a fourth month today.

Last month several foreign publications whispered speculation he is seriously unwell; UK tabloid Daily Mail declared him to be suffering from dementia or Parkinson's.

Other reports claimed he might undergo surgery for cancer soon.

All such reports were rubbished by Belarus president and Putin ally Alexander Lukashenko, who declared his friend to be 'healthy, sane and in better shape than ever'.

Since the war in Ukraine broke out there have also been reports of assassination attempts on Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy. There were three, it was claimed in March. All three were foiled after authorities in the eastern European nation were alerted to the threat.

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