A Pole was arrested because of an alleged Russian plot to assassinate Zelensky

Photo: Wojtek Jargilo - EPA-EFE

A Polish man has been arrested and charged with planning cooperation with Russian intelligence services to assist in the possible assassination of Volodymyr Zelensky, authorities said.

Polish prosecutors said the man, identified as Pavel K., was allegedly tasked with gathering information about an airport in Poland used by the president of Ukraine.

The arrest was made on the basis of Ukrainian intelligence services, they added. Authorities did not specify whether the man actually passed on any information. If convicted, he could face up to eight years in prison. The suspect is in custody, and the investigation is ongoing.

In a statement, Polish prosecutors claim that Pavel K offered his services to Russian military intelligence. He contacted Russians "directly involved in the war in Ukraine," they added. They said that Pavel K. was tasked with gathering security information at Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport in southeastern Poland.

Before the full invasion of Ukraine, Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport was a small regional airport. But since then it has become a key hub in a huge operation to supply Western military aid to Ukraine, it reports BBC.

Military and cargo planes from the US and across Europe regularly fly in and out of the airport to deliver supplies to waiting trucks traveling 100km to the Ukrainian border. Ukrainian airspace is closed to most flights, so leaders traveling in and out of the country tend to fly into neighboring countries like Poland and travel to Kyiv by train.

It is known that Zelenski flew from Rzeszow-Jasionka on foreign visits. In December 2022, he flew back to the airport after visiting Washington. Other foreign dignitaries, such as US President Joe Biden, have transited through the airport on their way to Ukraine.

Last year, Polish authorities said they had arrested a group of foreign nationals on suspicion of spying for Russia. They were reported to have installed dozens of cameras, including some around Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport. On Thursday, neighboring Germany arrested two alleged Russian spies suspected of plotting to sabotage German military aid to Ukraine.

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