Zelenskyy assassination plot: Polish police arrest man accused of spying for Russia

Polish citizen accused of preparing to pass airport security information to Russian agents

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport in Poland in 2022. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

Police in Poland have arrested a man suspected of being involved in a Russian plot to assassinate Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Polish prosecutors said the Polish citizen, named as Pawel K, is accused of being prepared to pass airport security information to Russian agents.

The suspect, who was arrested in Poland on Wednesday, faces eight years in prison if convicted under espionage laws.

The man was allegedly seeking contact with Russians directly involved in the war in Ukraine and was expected to pass on detailed information about the Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport in south-eastern Poland, near the border with Ukraine, which is a gateway for international military and humanitarian supplies for Ukraine.

Mr Zelenskyy has frequently used Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport on international trips, as he seeks to rally support for his country more than two years into Russia’s full-scale invasion.

It also serves world leaders and politicians travelling in and out of Ukraine.

Lying 100km from a border crossing at Medyka, the airport, which is under the control of US troops, has been used as the main hub for western military aid to Ukraine.

The investigation has been carried out in close co-ordination between Polish and Ukrainian authorities and key evidence in the case was obtained from the Ukrainian side, prosecutors said.

Meanwhile, German authorities said they had arrested two men suspected of spying for Russia and membership of a terrorist group planning acts of sabotage, a case Interior Minister Nancy Faeser called “particularly serious”.

The two, identified only as Dieter S and Alexander J in line with German privacy rules, were arrested on Wednesday in the Bavarian city of Bayreuth, Germany's federal prosecutors said.

One of the men is accused of agreeing to carry out attacks on potential targets including US military facilities with the aim of sabotaging aid for Ukraine.

A number of people, including a dual Russian-Spanish citizen, have been arrested in Poland on allegations of spying for Russia since Moscow launched its attack on Ukraine in February 2022.

EU member Poland has been a staunch supporter of neighbouring Ukraine and Mr Zelenskyy in fending off Russia’s aggression of more than two years.

The Ukrainian President said in an interview with The Sun last year that his intelligence services had foiled at least five or six plots to kill him.

Ukraine-Russia conflict latest - in pictures

Updated: April 19, 2024, 9:30 AM