Russia’s FSB says it thwarted alleged Ukrainian-backed plots to kill two journalists

Russia’s FSB security service said on Saturday it had thwarted alleged Ukrainian-backed plots to kill two prominent Russian journalists, Interfax news agency reported.

The FSB said it had detained an unspecified number of people on Friday who it said had carried out reconnaissance near the homes and workplaces of Margarita Simonyan and Ksenia Sobchak.

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine, which in the past has denied involvement in assassinations of pro-war figures inside Russia.

Interfax quoted the FSB as saying that the detainees had admitted preparing attacks on the two women on behalf of Ukraine and had been promised a reward of 1.5 million rubles ($16,620) for each one.

Simonyan, head of state media outlet RT and a vocal supporter of Russia’s war in Ukraine, posted a message on Telegram about the alleged plot, urging the security services to “Keep on working, brothers!”

Sobchak is a well-known journalist and TV host who also ran as a presidential candidate in 2018.

Two prominent pro-war Russian figures, journalist Darya Dugina and military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, have been killed in bomb attacks inside Russia in the past year. Russia blamed their killings on Ukraine, while Kyiv denied that and portrayed them as evidence of Russian infighting.

In May a prominent Russian nationalist writer, Zakhar Prilepin, was wounded in a car bombing that killed his driver.

Investigators said a suspect had been detained and had admitted acting on behalf of Ukraine.

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