Kyiv accused of plot to kill Putin’s top general despite US warning

Russian TV host says they will 'burn European humanitarians'

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The Russian chief of the general staff, General Valery Gerasimov is reported to have been the target of an assassination plot as he visited the frontlines in Ukraine on a secret visit. American authorities are said to have warned Kyiv that taking out Gerasimov would seriously escalate the conflict with Russia. 

According to the New York Times, the Ukrainian military had notified the US in response to the warning that an attempt on Gerasimov’s life had already been made.

A total of 14 Russian generals have been killed since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24. 

The Ukrainian strike on Gerasimov’s position is reported to have taken place in Izyum.

A US official told the New York Times: “We told them not to do it.” We were like, ‘Hey, that’s too much’.”

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At the time, Ukrainian government official Anton Gerashchenko claimed a “large number” of senior Russian officers had been killed in the strike but Gerasimov was not among the casualties. 

Following the attack, the Russian military began pulling back senior commanders from frontline positions after initially encouraging generals to get closer to the fighting in abid to maintain morale.

It comes as Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky urged the leaders of northern European nations to ramp up the supply of air defence systems to his war-torn nation.

Addressing a meeting of the Joint Expeditionary Force through an interpreter via video link, the Ukrainian president said: “Russian aggression can and must fail. The task now is to make sure it happens faster.

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“I call upon you to do everything to accelerate the defeat of the occupiers.”

He said millions were left without heat and water after Russia launched further attacks using Iranian drones last night.

Mr Zelensky said: “May I ask you to increase the possibility of supplying air defence systems to our country…

“100 percent air shield for Ukraine, that would be one of the most successful steps against Russian aggression and this step is required right now.”

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Multiple explosive drones attacked Ukraine’s capital before dawn Monday, local authorities reported, as Russian President Vladimir Putin prepared to visit ally Belarus, which provided the Kremlin’s forces with a launch pad for its invasion of Ukraine almost 10 months ago.

The drone attack came three days after what Ukrainian officials described as one of Russia’s biggest assaults on Kyiv since the war started and as Moscow presses on with its effort to torment Ukraine from the air amid a broad battlefield stalemate.

Russia launched 23 self-exploding drones over Kyiv while the city slept, but Ukrainian forces shot down 18 of them, the Kyiv city administration said on Telegram.

No major casualties were reported.

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