Two months after Russia invaded Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that his main spy agency foiled a Western plot to kill a prominent Russian journalist.
Putin told reporters on Monday: “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, preparing the murder of our journalists”.
Russia’s 24th February attack on Ukraine marked a steep escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian war, which began in 2014 following the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity.
Also known as the Maidan Revolution, it marked the end of the Euromaidan protests when deadly clashes between protesters and the security forces in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital culminated in the ousting of elected President Viktor Yanukovych and the overthrow of the Ukrainian government.
In the media conference on Monday, Putin did not provide evidence to support his claims. Reuters was unable to immediately verify the claims.
The Interfax news agency said that members of a nationalist group had been detained by Russian authorities.
Interfax said the group, acting on the orders of Ukrainian spies, was plotting to kill Russian journalist, Vladimir Solovyev.
Putin said the West was trying to destroy Russia from the inside but such attempts would fail.
He said the United States Central Intelligence Agency was directing attempts to undermine Russia and advising the Ukrainian government.
Putin also said foreign media organisations and social media had been used by the West to steer provocations against Russia’s armed forces. Such actions, he said, should be stopped.