Vladimir Putin says a pro-Ukrainian cell was planning to assassinate a leading Kremlin propagandist with a car bomb.
The Russian president claimed that the intelligence services had discovered a plot to assassinate Vladimir Solovyev, one of the most recognizable pro-government TV spokespersons in the country.
He said a neo-Nazi group had been recruited to carry out the attack in Moscow.
Mr Putin accused Western intelligence agencies of supporting him but did not provide further evidence on the plot.
The Interfax news agency said members of a “nationalist” group had been arrested by Russian authorities and were acting on the orders of “Ukrainian spies”.
It reported that a government spokesman said six people from a banned group called National Socialism / White Power were arrested and a shop of weapons, including explosives, was discovered and seized.
Ukrainian officials did not respond to a request for comment.
The Russian leader has previously made unbelievable claims about pro-Kiev operations and may try to forge ties between Ukraine and neo-Nazi groups.
Mr Putin has used “de-Nazification” as a way to justify the war at home, with false claims about the Ukrainian government.
Mr Putin was quoted as saying, “This morning, the Federal Security Service stopped the activities of a terrorist group that was planning to attack and assassinate one famous Russian TV journalist.
“They have turned to terror – to preparing for the murder of our journalists.”
He accused Western governments of trying to divide Russia by discriminating against the US Central Intelligence Agency.
Mr. Solovyev is a well-known presenter on Russia 1, a television station with close Kremlin ties that has shoved the Kremlin line into millions of homes during the Ukraine war.
In a rare break with the government and the army he was strongly critical of the Russian Navy after the sinking of Moscow in the Black Sea earlier this month.
He has been sanctioned by the European Union for his public support for the invasion.
Two villas overlooking Lake Como owned by Mr. Solovyev are targeted by anti-war protesters.
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Russia: Vladimir Putin says Ukraine plans to assassinate Vladimir Solovyev
Source link Russia: Vladimir Putin says Ukraine plans to assassinate Vladimir Solovyev