Vladimir Putin says a pro-Ukrainian cell planned to assassinate a leading Kremlin propagandist using a car bomb.
The Russian president claimed that the intelligence services had revealed a plan to assassinate Vladimir Solovyev, one of the most recognizable pro-government TV spokesmen in the country.
He said a neo-Nazi group had been recruited to carry out the attack in Moscow.
Putin accused Western intelligence services of supporting it, but offered no further evidence of the plot.
The Interfax news agency said members of a ‘nationalist’ group had been detained by Russian authorities and were acting on orders from ‘Ukrainian spies’.
It reported that a government spokesman said six people from a banned group called National Socialism / White Power had been detained and a stockpile of weapons, including explosives, was uncovered and seized.
Ukrainian officials have not responded to comments.
The Russian leader has previously made unbelievable allegations about pro-Kiev activists and may be trying to fabricate ties between Ukraine and neo-Nazi groups.
Sir. Putin has used “de-Nazification” as a way to justify the war in the home, making false claims about the Ukrainian government.
Putin was quoted as saying: ‘This morning, the Federal Security Service stopped the activities of a terrorist group that planned to attack and kill a famous Russian TV journalist.
‘They have gone over to terror – to prepare for the murder of our journalists.’
He accused Western governments of trying to divide Russia, highlighting the US Central Intelligence Agency.
Sir. Solovyev is a well-known presenter on Russia 1, a television station with close Kremlin ties that has pushed the Kremlin line against the Ukraine war into millions of homes.
In a rare break with the government and the military, he was highly critical of the Russian navy following Moscow’s sinking in the Black Sea earlier this month.
He has been sanctioned by the EU for his public support for the invasion.
Two villas overlooking Lake Como, owned by Mr Solovyev, have been hit by anti-war protesters.
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