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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday accused the United States and its allies of trying to “divide Russian society” following its invasion of Ukraine.
At a meeting with top officials in the prosecutor’s office, Putin said Russia had come under “unprecedented Western sanctions” for its military campaign in Ukraine, which is now on its 61st day.
He accused the United States and its allies of trying to “divide Russian society and destroy Russia from within,” adding that their plans had failed.
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Putin called on Russian prosecutors to act more quickly to block non-sanctioned demonstrations organized from abroad.
He also noted that they should focus on exposing “open provocations” against the Russian military, which allegedly involve international media and social platforms.
At one point during the meeting, Putin claimed that Russia had thwarted a conspiracy by a “terrorist group” to kill state television propagandist Vladimir Solovyev, according to Reuters.
The news media quoted the head of the Russian federal security service, Alexander Bortnikov, as saying that a group of six neonationalist Russian citizens tried to assassinate Solovyev on behalf of Ukraine’s state security service.
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But Ukraine said in a statement that it has “no plans to assassinate V. Solovyev,” Reuters reported.
The meeting on Monday comes a few hours before UN Secretary-General António Guterre’s planned visit on Tuesday with Putin to Moscow.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.