Ukraine invasion: Russia prevents journalist assassination

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Russian President, Vladimir Putin said the Federal Security Service (FSB) prevented a murder attempt by a “terrorist group” on Russian TV journalist Vladimir Solovyev.

“They have moved to terror – to preparing the murder of our journalists,” Putin said on Monday of the West, without providing evidence.

The FSB said it arrested members of a “neo-Nazi terrorist” group which was plotting to assassinate the pro-Kremlin TV anchor on orders from Ukraine.

“The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation detained a group of members of the neo-Nazi terrorist organisation National Socialism/White Power, which is banned in Russia,” the agency said in a statement carried by news agencies.

The FSB claimed the group of six Russians was planning the “murder” of Russian TV and radio journalist Solovyev “on the instructions of the Security Service of Ukraine”.

It added that the group “confessed to preparing the murder of Solovyev, after which they planned to flee abroad”.

In a statement published Monday on the Telegram messaging app, Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) said it “has no plans to assassinate V. Solovyev”.

Solovyev has hosted prime-time political chat shows on Russian television since the late 1990s and has been decorated by the Russian government.

He has been sanctioned by the European Union as a “propagandist” and has had villas seized by Italian financial police.

“What’s surprising about this? I am on view to everyone,” Solovyev said in comments on the alleged plot to the RIA Novosti news agency.

Speaking to Russia’s top prosecutors and watched by his defence minister, Putin also accused the West of trying to destroy Russia and inciting Ukraine to plan attacks on Russian journalists, demanding prosecutors take a tough line with what he cast as plots hatched by foreign spies to divide the country and discredit its armed forces.

Russian TV journalist Vladimir Solovyev

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