The Russian FSB claimed today to have stopped plans to assassinate the ‘goddaughter’ of Vladimir Putin’s TV star and his most powerful propagandist.
Vladimir Putin’s secret service agency claimed the attacks were ordered by Ukraine’s intelligence service, which offered £12,700 each to kill Ksenia Sobchak and Margarita Simonyan.
A 22-year-old suspected neo-Nazi, Yegor Savalyev, was arrested in Ryazan, along with five accomplices.
The story is bleak and Savalyev was previously reported to be a “victim” of a 2019 FSB “provocation”.
Sobchak, 41, has known Putin since childhood because his late father, Anatoly, the liberal mayor of St. Petersburg, was the former KGB spy’s political mentor.
The Russian FSB claimed today to have halted plans to assassinate the 41-year-old ‘goddaughter’ of Vladimir Putin’s TV star Sobchak (pictured) and his most powerful propagandist.
Vladimir Putin’s secret service agency (pictured left) claimed the attacks were ordered by Ukraine’s intelligence service, which offered £12,700 each to kill Ksenia Sobchak and Margarita Simonyan (pictured left). right)
A prominent television personality, Sobchak, who ran against Putin in the 2018 Russian presidential election after speaking privately with him, finished fourth.
Putin attended her Orthodox christening, leading to claims that he is her godfather.
He now runs an independent media outlet that is often critical of Putin and the war against Ukraine.
In October, he reportedly fled Russia for Belarus before entering Lithuania on foot to avoid arrest hours after police raided his mansion in a prestigious Moscow suburb.
Police said the search at his home was part of an investigation into alleged wrongdoing by his media director, Kirill Sukhanov, who was arrested on extortion charges the day before.
Sobchak at the time dismissed the allegations against Sukhanov as “random and nonsense” and described his arrest as part of authorities’ efforts to stifle independent media.
He then reportedly returned to Russia two weeks later, entering the country through a border checkpoint with Latvia.
Simonyan, 43, is a hardline Putin supporter who has been nicknamed ‘Goebbels in a skirt’.
She is the editor-in-chief of the Russian state broadcaster RT and the state media group Rossiya Segodnya.
A 22-year-old suspected neo-Nazi Yegor Savalyev (pictured) was detained in Ryazan, along with five accomplices.
Savalyev appeared to give a rehearsed confession, saying: ‘I am Mikail Balashov, born on March 27, 2005.
‘I live in Moscow. Created a Neo-Nazi Paragraph 88 gang and got [my] underage friends involved in this…
I was contacted by the special services of Ukraine…
‘They offered us [to commit] the contract killing of Margarita Simonyan and Ksenia Sobchak.
‘I…. made a reconnaissance of Margarita Simonyan’s house to get money.
“After that, I contacted a curator who was supposed to leave me a Kalashnikov automatic pistol and money.
‘When I got to the place where the weapon was supposed to be, I was caught by the employees of the [Russian] Intelligence service.’
The FSB claimed that it had stopped the killing of Sobchak and Simonyan, but this was doubted by independent observers.
“This is more likely an FSB provocation,” said one.
“Members of the neo-Nazi Paragraph-88 group, on instructions from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), planned to kill them.”
Vladimir Putin, Lyudmila Narusova (photo right) and Ksenia Sobchak (photo second right) in Saint Petersburg in November 2003
The FSB claimed that its officers “seized a Kalashnikov assault rifle, cartridges, bladed weapons, Nazi symbols, literature, as well as communication equipment and computers with information on the preparation of the assassination attempt.”
Simonyan said: ‘The FSB, together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Investigative Committee, detained a group which, by order of the Ukraine, was preparing my assassination.
‘[They] He followed me, he knew all my addresses.
He urged them to be sent to their fisherman father “to re-educate them; he will make true men out of them.”
Caution News, run by Sobchak, reported that the man arrested had spent four years in jail for an “extremist” offence.
Savalyev was appearing at a pretrial custody hearing in court along with other suspected members of his group.