Russian and Ukrainian intelligence services have foiled an attempt to assassinate Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sometime after next Sunday’s presidential election, according to reports on Russian state-owned Chanel One television.
The reports showed taped interrogations of two men, at least one of them bloodied, who confessed to working for Dokka Umarov, an infamous Chechen militant leader. The men reportedly planned to place mines along Kutuzuvsky Avenue, a main boulevard along Putin’s route to and from work.
The men were detained in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa where they were allegedly learning to make homemade bombs. The report links them to an explosion in that city in January that was initially believed to have been caused by household gas. Authorities later found explosive devices and began to investigate.
One of the men detained today survived the explosion. He said that he and a man killed in the blast arrived in Ukraine with clear instructions from Umarov, the Chechen leader. He said they were told to learn to make bombs in Odessa, then carry out acts of sabotage at economic facilities in Moscow, and eventually attempt to kill Putin. The second man detained today is believed to have escaped the January blast.
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