After the attack on Aide, Zelensky promises a “strong response.”
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky threatened a “strong response” after gunmen opened fire on a car transporting his senior aide in reprisal for a drive to rein in oligarchs, according to officials.
Sergiy Shefir, a 57-year-old former scriptwriter and longtime associate of comedian-turned-politician Zelensky, was reportedly unharmed.
In a video message from New York, Zelensky stated, “Saying ‘hi’ to me by shooting out of the trees at my friend’s car is weak.”
“There will be a strong response.”
The perpetrator of the incident, according to Zelensky, who is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, is still unknown.
“This, however, has no bearing on the road that I have selected with my team — toward improvements, de-shadowing our economy, and combating criminals and enormous, influential financial groups,” he stated.
Shefir described the assassination attempt as an attempt to “intimidate” the president.
According to police, they are looking into probable motives.
Shefir could have been targeted because of his work, or as part of a plot to put pressure on Ukraine’s top leadership or destabilize “the political situation in our country,” according to Igor Klymenko, the chief of the national police.
On Facebook, Anton Herashchenko, an assistant to the interior minister, claimed the attack happened around 10 a.m. (0700 GMT) on Wednesday near the hamlet of Lisnyky, south of Kiev.
He added Shefir’s driver was “seriously hurt” and that a special operation had been conducted in the region.
On Facebook, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova reported that “unidentified individuals fired about 10 shots from a 7.62 calibre automatic rifle.”
Authorities had initiated an attempted murder inquiry, she added.
Official photos revealed a black Audi with gunshot holes in the hood and on the driver’s side door.
Shefir was not hurt, according to official sources, but a politician from Zelensky’s “Servant of the People” party confirmed he was well.
Davyd Arakhamia was quoted by Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency as stating, “I briefly spoke to him, everything is good, he is alive and well.”
He said that Shefir had been taken to a “safe” location by police.
Mykhailo Podolyak, another staffer in Zelensky’s office, told the Interfax-Ukraine news agency that the attack was motivated by “politics aimed at diminishing the traditional dominance of hidden oligarchs.”
Zelensky, a former comedian with no prior political experience, was elected in 2019 on a platform of reforming Ukraine’s political system and removing big oligarchs’ influence.
Western partners have consistently pressured Kiev to confront the country’s widespread corruption. Brief News from Washington Newsday.