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Kremlin responds to Ukrainian threat to kill Putin

Ukraine’s leadership has again proven its “terrorist” nature by threatening to assassinate President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has said, while giving assurances that the Russian leader is well protected.

“A terrorist regime talks about its terrorist aspirations,” Peskov told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster on Thursday.

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The spokesman was commenting on an acknowledgement by Vadim Skibitsky, deputy head of Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR), who told the German outlet Die Welt on Wednesday that Putin was on his agency’s kill list.

Peskov said such statements show that the military operation, launched by Russia in Ukraine in February 2022, was “more than justified, more than necessary and that it must be completed.”

When asked if the Russian president’s security detail had been boosted after the threat from Kiev, Peskov replied: “Trust me, our security services know their job and know what they’re doing.”

In his interview, Skibitsky claimed that Putin “notices that we’re getting ever closer to him.” Ukrainian operatives have so far been unable to get to him because the Russian leader “stays holed up,” he added. The intelligence official said the GUR was also “trying to kill” the head of the Wagner private military company, Evgeny Prighozhin, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.

In early May, two small drones were disabled by air defenses, while trying to strike Putin’s Kremlin residence in Moscow. The Russian leader was not there at the time of the failed attack, and no one was hurt.

Despite the Ukrainian authorities denying any involvement, Moscow called the incident a “a pre-planned terrorist act” and an attempt on Putin’s life perpetrated by Kiev.

The Kremlin vowed that Russia would retaliate to the raid “anywhere and anytime it deems necessary,” while senior lawmaker Vyacheslav Volodin called for the use of “weapons capable of stopping and destroying the Kiev terrorist regime.”

READ MORE: US officials believe Ukrainians attacked Kremlin – NYT

Russia has accused Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s government of engaging in “terrorist tactics” since last fall, when it said Ukraine was targeting Russian infrastructure, including nuclear facilities and the strategic Crimean Bridge. The accusations were followed by the launch of a large-scale missile campaign across Ukraine, which delivered serious damage to the country’s energy system and depleted the capabilities of Ukrainian air defenses.

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