A Ukrainian presidential aide is shaken up and his driver is wounded after a torrent of automatic gunfire hit their car Wednesday in what officials consider to be an assassination attempt.
Serhiy Shefir, a senior advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was reportedly targeted in an assassination attempt. Shefir escaped the attack unscathed, but his driver was wounded and was hospitalized after a volley of bullets hit the car near the village of Lisnyky, NBC News reported.
A local television station reported that the car had appeared to have been struck at least 19 times, according to the outlet.
“It is obvious that this open, deliberate and extremely brutal attack with the use of automatic weapons cannot be qualified other than an attempt to demonstratively kill a key member of the team,” Mykhailo Podolyak, a top Ukrainian presidential advisor said, according to CNN.
Zelensky said that he does not know who is responsible for the attack but has called the attack a sign of weakness, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Ukrainian President Zelensky To Visit White House Amid Nord Stream 2 Debate)
“All I can say for my part is that the attempt was made to intimidate the highest echelons of power. But our President is strong-willed, you don’t intimidate him with anything. He chose the right path and is going his own way. The public is supporting him,” Shefir said, according to CNN
A volley of automatic gunfire hit a car carrying a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday, an incident a senior official called an assassination attempt and Zelensky said may have been a message intended for him. https://t.co/4RUPqhL7BP
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) September 22, 2021
Zelensky rose to prominence after promising to combat oligarchs and corruption, and Podolyak fears that this was an act of retaliation following his campaign against them, NBC reported.
Zelensky, however, stated that he planned to double down on his reforms.
“It does not affect the strength of our team, the course that I have chosen with my team – to change, to clean up our economy, to fight crime and large influential financial groups,” he said, according to NBC.
“This does not affect that. On the contrary, because the Ukrainian people have given me a mandate for changes.”
Police have said that they have opened an investigation on the suspicion of premeditated murder, according to the outlet.