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Ukraine shooting: Zelenskyy vows strong response after gunmen fire at chief aide's car

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By Emil Filtenborg and Stefan Weichert
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Bullet marks in car's windscreen
Bullet marks in car's windscreen   -   Copyright  Credit: Ukraine National Police

Gunmen fired at the car of the chief aide to Ukraine's president, say police, in a suspected assassination attempt.

More than 10 bullets hit the vehicle during the attack at 10 am local time on Wednesday near Lisniki, on the outskirts of Kyiv.

Screenwriter Serhiy Shefir -- the first assistant to Volodymyr Zelenskyy -- was in the car at the time, the president's press secretary Serhiy Nikiforov confirmed to Euronews.

Shefir's driver was wounded and is in hospital, said Ukraine's prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova. Her office has opened a probe into attempted murder.

Police, meanwhile, say they are still searching for the attackers.

Zelenskyy is currently in New York where he is set to address the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.

“Serhiy is alive, the driver, unfortunately, is wounded," Zelenskyy said in a video update on Telegram. "Now he is in the hospital, law enforcement officers are working on the spot and an interception plan has been introduced.

"It is believed that this was an attempted murder. Immediately after speaking at the UN General Assembly, I am heading to the capital.

"What are these forces? They can be internal or external. But I don’t consider them forces, because it’s weak to send me a “hello” by shooting from the forest at my friend’s car. But the answer will be strong.”

#Розшук осіб, які обстріляли авто першого помічника Президента України: проводиться поліцейська спецоперація Сьогодні,...

Posted by Національна поліція України on Wednesday, September 22, 2021

"The alarming news about the shelling of Serhiy Shefir's car caught the president during a working visit to the United States," said Zelenskyy's press secretary Serhiy Nikiforov.

"Despite the night, Volodymyr Zelenskyy was promptly informed about the incident and continues to provide all necessary information.

"The president's public reaction to the event will also be soon.

"As of now, it can be said that the perpetrator of the assassination attempt, as well as the customers and their accomplices, will not escape punishment.

"And also that the course of the President's Office on the de-shadowing and de-oligarchisation of Ukraine will not change, and no insidious actions will affect it."