Putin accuses West of inciting attacks against Russian journalists

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday accused the West of inciting attacks against Russian journalists, saying Russia’s spy agency had prevented the murder of a famous reporter.

During a meeting with prosecutors, Putin said he had “irrefutable evidence” of a plot from a western-backed terrorist group to kill a Russian state TV host named Vladimir Solovyev, according to Russian news outlet Sputnik.

Putin said the Federal Security Service (FSB) foiled the plot and cast the blame for it specifically on Ukraine’s security service, the SBU, and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The Russian leader said the West has failed to win an information war inside Russia and was resorting to violent assaults on journalists.

“Failing here, in Russia, they have switched to a policy of terror, to preparations to kill our journalists,” Putin said, according to Sputnik. “Here is their attitude toward the rights of journalists, to the dissemination of information, to human rights in general…but this won’t work in Russia.”

Also on Monday, the FSB said six “neo-Nazi” members of an outlawed white power group were arrested for attempting to kill Solovyov by blowing up his car in Moscow, according to Sputnik.

Investigators claim that from the homes of the six people allegedly involved in the plot, they seized a bomb, materials from an improvised explosive device (IED), firearms and ammunition, as well as Nazi insignia and paraphernalia.

The six people who were detained also confessed to the attempted murder, according to Sputnik, and claimed it was at the direction of the SBU.

On Monday, Putin said he had names of the alleged perpetrators who had orchestrated the plot, and he asked prosecutors to gather additional evidence for prosecution.

The SBU denied the accusation, saying it was fabricated by the Kremlin, according to Sky News.

The Hill has reached out to the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence for comment on the allegations.

Putin claimed he was “denazifying” Ukraine when he invaded the country on Feb. 24, unleashing bloodshed and a brutal assault on the former Soviet state.

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