Vladimir Putin has accused ‘terrorists’ of attempting to kill a Russian journalist, adding that authorities have already stopped one such assassination despite there being no proof
Image: via REUTERS)
Vladimir Putin has said his main spy agency has prevented a plot to murder a famous Russian journalist, despite offering no evidence to support the claim.
Speaking on Monday, the Russian president said: “This morning, the Federal Security Service stopped the activities of a terrorist group that planned to attack and kill one famous Russian TV journalist.
“They have moved to terror – to preparing the murder of our journalists.”
The Interfax news agency said that members of a nationalist group had been detained by Russian authorities and that the group, acting on the orders of Ukrainian spies, was plotting to kill Russian journalist Vladimir Solovyev.
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It comes as Putin also claimed that the West was trying to “destroy Russia from the inside” but asserted that such attempts would fail.
He said the US Central Intelligence Agency was directing attempts to undermine Russia, as well as advising the Ukrainian government.
But, again, he did not immediately provide evidence to support his claims and Reuters was unable to immediately verify his comments.
Putin also said foreign media organisations and social media had been used by the West to provoke Russia’s armed forces, adding that “such actions should be stopped”.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin has been accused of faking Russian president Vladimir Putin’s appearance at an Orthodox Easter service in a Moscow cathedral.
Pictures issued by the Kremlin bear a startling resemblance to images from last year, leading to question over whether they were real or not.
The Ukrainians have seized on video and pictures suggesting that his appearance was faked, possibly because of health problems.
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He was pictured with Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, just as he was on 2 May 2021, and both men seemed to be dressed exactly the same as last year.
The midnight Easter ceremony this year at Moscow’s huge gold-encrusted Christ the Saviour Cathedral followed new health questions over Putin.
He appeared bloated and slouching at a meeting with the Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu, who also seemed far from hit, reading his statement to Putin across a small desk.
There are differences in lighting – prompting suggestions that the images have been manipulated.
“Putin is standing in the same suit and with the same candle as on May 2, 2021,” reported Russian outlet The Village.
“This is evidenced by a photo report from the temple on the Kremlin website.”
Opposition investigative media Agentstvo claimed footage of Putin attending the ceremony – an appearance he makes annually – seemed to have been distorted.
“In the broadcast of the Easter service from the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Putin seemed to disappear for a moment,” said the outlet.
“This happened during the switching of shots, from a close-up with the president to a more general one….
“The place where Putin should be seems to be empty.”
On the video Putin was shown grimacing and biting his lip – interpreted by some as a sign of his state of mind during the war.