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Updated March 6th, 2022 at 16:21 IST

US special forces, UK SAS commandos preparing for 'high-risk rescue of Ukraine president’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had previously turned down rescue offers by the US and UK governments, saying, "I need ammunition, not a ride".

Zaini Majeed
UK
Image: AP | Image:self
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US special forces and UK's SAS commandoes are getting ready for a high-risk rescue of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as the war in Ukraine intensifies and Russian Spetsnaz special forces are reported to be targetting Zelensky. To carry out the mission, troops from the UK, US, and Ukraine have assembled in a remote base in Lithuania to lay the groundwork for the rescue operation.  Zelensky, thus far, has survived at least three assassination attempts in a week after plots were foiled by double agents, Mirror reported.

Ukraine's leader had also turned down rescue offers by the American government, saying, "I need ammunition, not a ride," in response to the forces trying to rescue him out of the country.  At least 70 UK elite soldiers and 150 US Navy Seals are training for a rescue mission alongside Ukrainian forces. Zelensky has recently spoken to the US President, Joe Biden, and the two counterparts discussed security, financial support, and continuation of sanctions against Russia. 

"As part of the constant dialogue, I had another conversation with the President,” he wrote on Twitter.

UK PM Boris Johnson, meanwhile, is set to detail a six-point plan on Sunday that he will look forward to the global counterparts to approve. Johnson told reporters in the UK that “it is not future historians but the people of Ukraine who will be our judge over how the world reacts to Mr Putin's hideous, barbarous assault”. 

'Putin must fail': UK PM

Johnson, a staunch supporter of Ukraine continued, "Putin must fail and must be seen to fail in this act of aggression. It is not enough to express our support for the rules-based international order – we must defend it against a sustained attempt to rewrite the rules by military force.”

UK’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace separately warned the Kremlin not to underestimate the UK and the West. In a statement to The Sunday Telegraph, Wallace said allies “must not be afraid of Putin” and added that the Russian leader has been “acting irrationally and inflicting horrors on Ukraine,” and that he must not try to 'test' the UK.

“The thing to say to Putin is don't underestimate us, don't test us," he told the newspaper. “History is littered with authoritarian leaders underestimating the wider West and the United Kingdom. He clearly underestimated the international community,” Wallace warned. “If we stick together and refuse to be intimidated then I believe he [Putin] will fail."

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Published March 6th, 2022 at 16:21 IST

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