SAS planning ‘high-risk rescue of Zelensky’: 70 UK’s of elite soldiers join 150 US Navy Seals in training for 11th hour night mission to save Ukrainian leader… but ONLY if he requests it
The SAS is planning a ‘high-risk rescue’ of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky with 70 elite British soldiers and 150 US Navy Seals in training for an 11th hour late night mission, but only if he requests it.
Soldiers at a remote base in Lithuania are understood to training with elite Ukrainian soldiers in preparation for the bold mission.
Zelensky, 44, claims to have survived at least three assassination attempts since Russia launched its invasion last week, with mercenaries from the Kremlin-backed Wagner group and Chechen special forces both allegedly sent to Ukraine.
The assassins were foiled by subversive anti-war members within Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) – Russia’s successor to the KGB – who are believed to have alerted Ukraine officials.
The President turned down the offer of a rescue from the United States last month, instead defiantly stating ‘the fight is here’.
However, it is understood that Russian special forces Spetsnaz are also on the hunt for the Ukrainian leader.
A rescue mission will only be launched on his request, though, The Sun reports.
A source said: ‘The most likely sensible option could be to relocate Zelenskyy out of Kyiv where he could be picked up. We have aircraft but the distance is critical.’
It comes as the President today accused Russia of a war crime amid plans to bomb the port city of Odessa.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (pictured) claims he has survived three assassination attempts since the invasion was launched last week
Soldiers based at a remote base in Lithuania are understood to training with elite Ukrainian soldiers in preparation for the bold mission. Pictured: US Navy Seals training on a naval ship
In a video address, the Ukrainian leader said: ‘They are preparing to bomb Odessa.
‘Russians have always come to Odessa. They have always felt only warmth in Odessa. Only sincerity. And now what? Bombs against Odessa? Artillery against Odessa? Missiles against Odessa?
‘It will be a war crime. It will be a historical crime.’
Almost a million people live in Odessa, a cosmopolitan harbour on Ukraine’s southern coast with both Ukrainian and Russian speakers and Bulgarian and Jewish minorities.
Analysts have previously said that taking Odessa would be a huge strategic victory and would give Russia a chokehold on Ukraine’s economy.
Russia has made progress in southern Ukraine since its invasion 11 days ago, overrunning the city of Kherson and shelling the port of Mariupol, but Odessa has so far been largely spared.
Meanwhile, a second attempt to evacuate civilians from Mariupol was scuppered again today after the city was shelled just minutes into an agreed ceasefire.
Refugees queue outside the station as they wait for trains to Poland following the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Ukrainian servicemen in a military checkpoint in Irpin, Ukraine, on Sunday as thousands attempt to flee the convict
Three civilians were killed and others were wounded as Russian mortar rounds landed between Irpin and Kyiv this morning
People wait in a bus to be evacuated from the conflict in Irpin on Sunday following a barrage of Russian shelling in the area
Some 400,000 residents were hoped to be evacuated from 12pm today, with an initial agreement in place until 9pm, but residents are now having to take cover in bomb shelters without electricity and water.
It followed similar attempts on Saturday when plans to evacuate refugees were halted when shelling recommenced 45 minutes into a ceasefire.
The International Committee of the Red Cross added: ‘Amid devastating scenes of human suffering in Mariupol, a second attempt today to start evacuating an estimated 200,000 people out of the city came to a halt.
‘The failed attempts yesterday and today underscore the absence of a detailed and functioning agreement between the parties to the conflict.’