By Maria Vesnovskaya
Russian and Ukrainian security services have averted a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and carry out a series of attacks throughout Russia. Two suspects, who have been on an international wanted list, were detained in the Ukrainian port of Odessa about a month ago. The detainees testified that the assassination attempt on Putin was to happen shortly after the March 4 presidential vote.
A report on plotted attacks was aired on Russia’s state-owned Channel One TV. Ukrainian security services and Mr. Putin`s press service confirmed that the report was correct. Two suspects, Ilya Pyanzin and Ruslan Madayev, said they had arrived in Odessa from the United Arab Emirates. Pyanzin said that they had been hired by Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov.
“We were told to first travel to Odessa to learn how to make bombs and later go to Moscow to carry out attacks on economically vital objects before assassinating Putin. When we arrived in Odessa, Ruslan was told a telephone number of a man who was supposed to meet us here.”
When the suspects were learning how to make bombs, Ruslan Madayev died in an accidental explosion. Ukrainian ‘fixer’ escaped before a fire brigade arrived at the scene. Pyanzin was hospitalized with burns. He later admitted that there was also a third plotter, Adam Osmayev. He was detained on February 4, but Ukrainian security services have been keeping his arrest a secret until now. Details of the plot were found on Osmayev`s laptop, a source in the Ukrainian security services said.
“There were videos showing motorcades carrying different officials, including Putin. The suspects thus had an opportunity to study thoroughly the way an official is guarded.”
Osmayev said that most attacks were supposed to be carried out using remote controlled explosives, and also a suicide bomber. The suspect said that the whole operation had entered its final stage.
“There are certain types of land mines which can be used in such attacks, not necessarily a suicide bomber. I would not become a suicide bomber. But Madayev said he was ready to blow himself up. A deadline for the assassination was set for the first days after the March 4 presidential vote.”
Osmayev was said to be collaborative during an investigation. He admitted that part of the explosives had been delivered to Moscow, and one of the attacks was supposed to take place on Kutuzovsky Avenue, used by Russian president and prime minister on a daily basis.
No further details will be disclosed while the investigation is under way. Nevertheless, Ukrainian and Russian security services have obviously done a good job by averting the assassination plot and making the suspects testify.
It was also reported that another assassination attempt on Vladimir Putin was foiled during his presidency: four Chechens were supposed to attack him during the CIS summit in Yalta in August of 2000. In all, more than 10 assassination plots against Putin, most of them fake, were reported during his two presidential terms.