Tuesday’s Coverage: Russia’s Nuclear Threat Amid Putin’s “Inauguration”

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has noted that today’s massive Russian missile and drone strike coincides with Ukraine’s commemoration of triumph over Nazi Germany in 1945.

The entire world must understand who is who. The world must not give a chance to new Nazism.


Russia has carried out one of its largest daily missile and drone strikes in 2024.

Ukrainian air defenses downed 39 of 55 missiles and 20 of 21 Iran-type drones launched overnight. Attacks — mainly on energy infrastructure — were recorded in the Poltava, Kirovohrad, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, and Vinnytsia regions.

Ukraine’s largest private energy company DTEK, whose facilities were seriously damaged at the end of March, said three thermal power plants were again struck.

Russia’s missiles hit two “critical energy infrastructure facilities” in the Lviv region in western Ukraine about 5 a.m.

An energy generation facility was struck with cruise missiles, starting fires, in the Chervonohrad district.

An 8-year-old child in the Kirovohrad region and a 62-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man were injured in the Kyiv region.

First responders dealing with the aftermath of a Russian attack on the Kyiv region:


Ukrainian officials say they have examined debris from 21 of about 50 North Korean ballistic missiles fired by Russia between late December and late February.

The office of Chief Prosecutor Andriy Kostin said, “About half of the North Korean missiles lost their programmed trajectories and exploded in the air; in such cases the debris was not recovered.”

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine’s SBU security service said on Tuesday that it has broken up a plot by Russia to assassinate senior Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The SBU said, “The network, whose activities were supervised by the [Russian State security service] FSB from Moscow, included two colonels of [Ukraine’s] State Security Department who were leaking classified information to Russia.”

The Russians were trying to identify individuals close to Zelenskiy’s security detail to carry out the assassination. They would take Zelenskiy prisoner, in his office or when he left the building, and then kill him.

This would be a “gift” for Vladimir Putin, the SBU asserted. The FSB also planned the elimination of Ukrainian military intelligence head Kyrylo Budanov and SBU leader Vasyl Maliuk.

Three FSB intelligence officers — Maxim Mishustin, Dmytro Perlin, and Aleksii Kornev — oversaw the operation. Perlin handled the network of Ukrainian agents, recruited before Russia’s February 2022 invasion. Kornev had a series of meetings with one of the Ukrainian colonels in a neighboring European country.

In an intercepted telephone call, Perlin set out another assassination plan to one of the Ukrainian agents. A spotter would watch the house of military intelligence head Budanov. A missile would target the home, while a nearby agent directed an attack on other people at the site with kamikaze drones. A second missile strike would cover up evidence of the drone attack.

SBU chief Maliuk said:

The terrorist attack, which was supposed to be a gift to Putin for the inauguration, was indeed a failure of the Russian special services.

We must not forget that the enemy is strong and experienced. He cannot be underestimated.

Last month Polish and Ukrainian prosecutors announced the detention of a man suspected of aiding a Russian scheme to kill Zelenskiy. In August 2023, the SBU said a woman had been arrested for trying to uncover details of Zelenskiy’s movements outside Kyiv.