Agents Foil Plot to Kill Putin
News comes six days before Russia's presidential election
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Feb 27, 2012 7:47 AM CST
Russia's Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Just released information about a bust that happened weeks ago: Russian TV reports that Ukrainian and Russian intelligence agents arrested a team plotting to assassinate Vladimir Putin. An explosion drew officials to an Odessa apartment housing would-be assassins allegedly working under Doku Umarov, a Chechen terrorist leader, the New York Times reports. One person died in the blast, while two survived; one of them told agents about the plot to attack Moscow sites and then Putin himself. Among the man's revelations: that the group tracked the routes Putin's drivers traveled through Moscow.

Reports differ as to when the arrests occurred: Russian TV says Jan. 4, while a Ukrainian report released earlier this month that didn't mention the assassination plot said Feb. 4. Some have suggested a nefarious link between the timing of the news and the Russian presidential election, which is just six days away. "This is a sign that the real leaders of Mr. Putin’s political structure ... are trying to mobilize public opinion according to the logic that we are surrounded by enemies and that we have one decisive, effective, and intelligent national leader that they want to destroy," said a political analyst."