Russian security services have announced that they have foiled a plot by Ukrainian intelligence to assassinate Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of state-funded RT international television channel, and Ksenia Sobchak, a journalist and TV host who is often critical of the Kremlin.
According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), the suspects were part of a neo-Nazi group called “Paragraph-88” that carried out reconnaissance near the homes and workplaces of the journalists. The FSB said that the detainees had admitted to preparing attacks on the two women on behalf of Ukraine and had been promised a reward of $16,620 (1.5 million roubles) for each one.
The FSB published footage showing several suspects being detained, as well as allegedly seized weapons and books on Nazism. A Moscow court has issued criminal charges against seven people in connection with the plot, including five minors born in 2005 and 2006, and two men.
Simonyan, a vocal supporter of Russia’s war in Ukraine and one of state television’s most recognisable faces, posted a message on Telegram about the alleged plot, urging the security services to “Keep on working, brothers!”