Zelensky critic claims Spain ignoring ‘assassination attempt’ 

Aprilia Rine

Zelensky critic claims Spain ignoring ‘assassination attempt’ 

A high-profile critic of Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky whose political party has been banned since 2022 has accused Spanish police of ignoring his claims that he was targeted in a drive-by shooting.

YouTuber Anatoly Shariy runs a popular YouTube channel with almost 2.9 million subscribers. A frequent critic of Zelensky, he founded a libertarian-leaning party in 2019, and while it fell short of getting into the Ukrainian parliament, it won several seats on regional councils. Zelensky’s government banned it in early 2022 and rejected all its appeals in October that year.

Shariy and his wife Olga were driving towards their home in Roda de Bera near Tarragona – southwest of Barcelona – on Wednesday morning when a masked man pointed a “machine gun” at their car. 

“They tried to kill us in broad daylight, in the middle of the street,” Olga told the outlet El Diario on Wednesday evening. Since then, however, Shariy has lambasted the police for dragging their feet. 

“Day concluded. The police did not question witnesses who saw the [would-be] murderer escape from the crime scene,” Shariy posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday evening, in Spanish. “They want me to be killed. There are no more doubts.”

He continued to criticize the police on Thursday, pointing out that they had failed to question the postman who witnessed the shooting. “No action was taken to search for the killer,” Shariy added in another post.

According to El Diario, the Shariys have faced “threats and harassment” ever since “neo-Nazi groups” from Ukraine discovered their location. Last October, someone threw Molotov cocktails at their home. 

Earlier this week, Olga told the outlet, the Shariys received a tip – which included recordings of phone conversations – that someone had offered money for Anatoly’s death and asked organized crime groups for his exact location. They reported this to the police, she said, but nothing was done.

Shariy was detained by the Spanish authorities in May 2022 on Ukrainian charges of “treason”, but was released soon thereafter. Spain eventually rejected Ukraine’s extradition request.

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