KYIV, Ukraine — A prime adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine was shot at on Wednesday whereas being pushed in his automotive outdoors Kyiv, in what the authorities mentioned was an assassination try.
The adviser, Serhiy Shefir, was not injured within the assault, however the driver of the automotive was wounded and hospitalized, Irina Venediktova, Ukraine’s prosecutor basic, said in a statement that included an image of the driving force’s facet of Mr. Shefir’s black Audi riddled with bullets.
“That is severe,” the deputy inside minister, Anton Gerashchenko, mentioned in a short interview. “It was an actual assassination try.”
The assault occurred whereas Mr. Zelensky was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly meeting, the place he had mentioned he deliberate to talk out in opposition to Russia’s army intervention in japanese Ukraine and to rally diplomatic backing for Kyiv.
Mr. Shefir, 57, is a longtime adviser to the Ukrainian president and is taken into account Mr. Zelensky’s closest confidant. Collectively along with his brother and Mr. Zelensky in 2003, they based Kvartal 95, a tv manufacturing firm that produced quite a few widespread exhibits and propelled Mr. Zelensky, a former comic, to nationwide fame. In 2019, Mr. Zelensky used his recognition to win the presidency.
The photographs appeared to have been fired about 10 a.m. by an individual or individuals who have been hidden within the woods by the highway, in accordance with investigators. Mr. Shefir’s automotive was not armored and he didn’t use any safety element, Mr. Gerashchenko mentioned.
The taking pictures occurred close to the village of Lisnyky, simply outdoors Kyiv, the capital, on a freeway bordered woodlands.
There have been no suspects and nobody had been arrested within the speedy aftermath of the assault, in accordance with the authorities.
Ukrainian officers cautioned the general public to not speculate about who was behind the brazen morning assault, whilst pictures of the bullet-ridden automotive have been broadcast throughout the nation. There have been at the least 10 bullet holes within the car.
The driving force, whose title was not instantly launched, was shot 3 times and is hospitalized in important situation. He’s at present present process surgical procedure, in accordance with the authorities.
Since struggle broke out in 2014 between Ukraine and separatist forces backed by the Kremlin, there have been quite a few assassinations carried out on Ukrainian territory focusing on senior army and intelligence officers and politicians, in addition to journalists and dissidents fleeing enemies in Russia.
Whereas a few of the assaults have been attributed to prison rivalries and gangland violence, lots of them, in accordance with Ukrainian legislation enforcement officers, are the work of assassins related to Russia’s intelligence providers. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Mr. Zelensky’s chief of employees, linked the assault on Wednesday to the president’s efforts to restrict the affect of oligarchs on politics in Ukraine.
Mr. Podolyak known as the assault a “belligerent pushback” in opposition to Mr. Zelensky’s coverage to “cut back the standard affect of shadow oligarchs on social processes,” in accordance with Interfax, a information company.
“Certainly, we hyperlink this assault to the aggressive and even belligerent pushback on the energetic coverage of the top of state,” he mentioned.
“This coverage goals to palpably cut back the standard affect of shadow oligarchs on social processes and to destroy the political and monetary teams that brazenly serve our overseas opponents,” Mr. Podolyak advised Interfax on Wednesday.
Mr. Shefir was a producer on the hit comedy present “Servant of the Folks,” during which Mr. Zelensky performed a schoolteacher who was propelled to the presidency after a principled tirade in opposition to authorities corruption went viral on-line. After Mr. Zelensky gained the precise presidency in 2019, he positioned numerous former show-business associates in key management posts.
The 2 are additionally neighbors and share a health club and a pool. At any time when Mr. Zelensky is away, Mr. Shefir walks Mr. Zelensky’s canine, he mentioned in an interview.
“My essential objective, other than my regular duties, is for him to stay a human being,” Mr. Shefir said of Mr. Zelensky, shortly after his appointment as adviser in 2019.
Andrew E. Kramer contributed reporting from Moscow.