Aide to the Ukrainian President survives an assassination attempt

Top adviser to the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky survived an apparent assassination attempt.

Serhiy Shefir’s car was struck with bullets as he left his home south of the capital Kyiv on Wednesday. His driver was wounded.

President Zelensky promised a strong response against the perpetrators.

It is not known who carried out the shooting and if it was a foreign or a domestic attack, Mr Zelensky said.

Describing the moment that bullets struck his vehicle, Mr Shefir said “we had to speed up a little, it was scary”.

He praised his driver, who he said managed to continue to drive after the “shots rang out”.

Mr Shefir suggested he was targeted in a bid to intimidate the “highest echelon of power” and that such an attempt would not work.

“One has to understand that our president [Zelensky] is very strong-willed, he has a spine and cannot be intimidated,” he added.

Police investigating the shooting, near the village of Lisnyky, said they were exploring the possibility that Mr Shefir may have been targeted for his work, or as part of a bid to destabilise the government.

The attack comes a few days before Mr Zelensky’s bill to rein in Ukraine’s powerful oligarchs is debated in parliament.

Ukraine’s oligarchs are a small group of super-rich businessmen who dominate the country’s economic and political life.

Meanwhile, Russia categorically denied any involvement.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said any suggestion of a link with Moscow bore “the signs of an excessively excited emotional state”.

“Unfortunately nowadays, whatever happens in Ukraine, none of the current politicians is able to rule out the Russian trace,” he said.