Doesn’t this sound like the plot of a Ludlum novel?
Ukrainian and Russian security services have gathered information about a plot to assassinate Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is poised to be elected president on Sunday, the state-run Channel One reported on Monday.
According to the TV channel, after weeks of interrogation, the gang members confessed they were planning to assassinate Putin in Moscow, soon after the March 4 presidential elections.
One of the surviving militants, Ilya Pyanzin, said that the Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov, who is believed to be behind the deadliest terrorist attacks in Russia, hired him and the late Ruslan Madayev to kill Putin.
Osmayev confessed that he scrutinized the routes of government corteges and that the preparation for the attack was in its final stage.
The TV report also said that the militants were going to use mines hidden along Moscow’s Kutuzovsky Avenue, which Putin passes every day on his way to the government building in downtown city.
An unknown security official told the TV channel that the mines were powerful enough to “tear apart a truck.”
Ukrainian Security Services confirmed the information released about the assassination plot.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was not available for comment.
Putin, who served as president from 2000 to 2008, is expected to return to the Kremlin for a third, non-consecutive term in office in elections on March 4.