The Russian president’s spokesman shrugged off the Ukrainian leader’s threat as tough talk
Kiev’s threats to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin are nothing new, but have mostly remained in the realm of narratives as opposed to reality, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.
“If you remember, there have been verbal attempts on Putin’s life from Ukraine many times at various levels,” Peskov told journalist Pavel Zarubin. “They will not succeed.”
Peskov’s comments came in reaction to an interview of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to the British tabloid The Sun, published on Monday evening. In the interview, Zelensky claimed to have survived at least five Russian assassination attempts, and suggested that he would have Putin killed if given the opportunity.
“That’s war, and Ukraine has all the rights to defend our land,” Zelensky told the outlet.
Ukrainian spies have been responsible for a series of assassinations in Russia over the past two years, the Washington Post reported last month, citing sources in the CIA, which has admitted to funding Kiev’s intelligence.
Kiev has officially denied having anything to do with the murders of journalist Darya Dugina and blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, or the attempted murder of author Zakhar Prilepin.
Zelensky himself denied responsibility for the May 3 drone attack on Moscow, which caused slight damage to the roof of the Kremlin. While Putin’s office issued a statement condemning the “assassination attempt,” Peskov later clarified that the Russian president wasn’t in his office at the time.
The Ukrainian leader has tried to regain the West’s attention over the past six weeks, after lamenting that he had lost the limelight to the Israel-Gaza conflict. Though they promised to “stand with Ukraine,” the US and the EU have largely run out of military supplies that could be sent to Kiev, while also facing an uphill battle to greenlight additional financial aid.