Deputy Chief of the Main Directorate of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine Vitaliy Mayakov says there is no evidence that an assassination attempt was being prepared against Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.
Ukrainian Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko earlier claimed that SBU Major General Valeriy Shaitanov, who has recently been detained on suspicion of high treason, was involved in preparations for an attempt on Avakov's life.
"As for the other persons against whom assassination attempts were being prepared... I, as an investigator, work with evidence only. [Adam] Osmayev was a target with a certain deadline set and advance payment for the murder made," Mayakov said, according to Ukraine's media outlet news.liga.net. "There were no other targets at that moment, and no evidence was collected at that time to state that such actions were being prepared," Mayakov said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, SBU counterintelligence agents detained Shaitanov on April 14. According to the materials of the case, Shaitanov, who is one of the former chiefs of the SBU's "A" Special Operations Center, was secretly working for Russian FSB Colonel Igor Yegorov.
Investigators have evidence that, acting as Russian special services instructed, Shaitanov planned to commit terrorist acts in Ukraine. He was promised a reward of US$200,000 and Russian citizenship. Shaitanov hired a former special forces member for the acts.
It was established that Shaitanov had collected information on secret operations in the Anti-Terrorist Operation/Joint Forces Operation zone in Donbas and about personnel involved in them for further sharing it with the FSB. He also informed the Russian side about Ukrainian special services' international security and defense cooperation; shared details about SBU and intelligence officers. What is more, he was involved in recruiting officers from Ukrainian special and intelligence agencies to work for the FSB.
In Ukraine, Shaitanov is suspected of high treason and terrorist attacks. In particular, he was engaged in preparations for the assassination of Adam Osmayev, the leader of Chechen volunteers fighting on the Ukrainian side against Russia-led forces in Ukraine's east.
On April 15, Kyiv's Shevchenkivsky district court ruled to remand Shaitanov in custody until June 14.