Ukraine president's aide targeted in assassination attempt

By: AFP      Published: 06:45 PM, 22 Sep, 2021
Ukraine president's aide targeted in assassination attempt

The chief aide to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky was targeted in an assassination attempt on Wednesday when his car came under fire, officials said.

"Today at around 10 am, near the village of Lesniki, the car of the president's chief aide Sergei Shefir came under fire," an advisor to the country's interior minister, Anton Gerashchenko, said on Facebook.

"More than 10 bullets hit the car. The driver is seriously injured."

He added that police had launched a special operation around the capital Kiev.

"Unidentified individuals fired about 10 shots from a 7.62 calibre automatic weapon," Ukraine's Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said on Facebook.

She added that an investigation was underway for a case of "attempted murder". 

Official reports did not state whether Shefir was injured, but a lawmaker representing Zelensky's "Servant of the People" party said he was fine.

"I briefly spoke to him, everything is fine, he is alive and well," Davyd Arakhamia was cited by Russia's RIA Novosti news agency as saying.

Shefir, 57, was born in the industrial central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rig.

He studied to be a metallurgist, but as a student began doing comedy for the popular KVN show with his brother, Boris. 

In 2003 he co-founded a production company called "Kvartal 95" with his brother Boris and Zelensky, a former comedic-actor turned president in 2019. 

Shefir produced and wrote the "Servant of the People," a comedic show in which Zelensky portrayed a schoolteacher who becomes president.