News / Europe

Critics Say Putin Assassination Plot Tied to Sunday Vote

A Russian Channel One undated television grab shows a man identified as Adam Osmayev (C), one of the suspected militants conspiring to kill Vladimir Putin, walking under escort of the masked agents of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), shortly after hi
A Russian Channel One undated television grab shows a man identified as Adam Osmayev (C), one of the suspected militants conspiring to kill Vladimir Putin, walking under escort of the masked agents of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), shortly after hi
James Brooke

Less than one week before Russia's presidential election, voters are digesting an announcement that police uncovered a plot to kill the main candidate, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. 

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has brushed off a reported assassination plot, telling reporters: “People in my position have to live with it.  It would be impossible to carry on if you fear that.  Let them fear us.”

A Kremlin-controlled network, Russia’s Channel One, reported Monday three men from Russia’s violence plagued Chechnya region met two months ago in Odessa, Ukraine and plotted to attack a Putin motorcade in Moscow.

The plot unraveled January 4 when a bomb they were making accidentally exploded in Odessa, killing one man and wounding another.  Channel One televised taped confessions made by the wounded man and the third man. 

The report also announced details of two other previously unknown plots on Putin’s life, both in Russia’s violence plagued Caucasus southern border region.

In Moscow, analysts and opposition politicians questioned the timing of the announcement - eight weeks after the Odessa bomb explosion and one week before Russia’s Presidential election.

“Few people are taking this seriously.  Rather than condemning a crass attempt to boost Putin’s popularity, people are making fun of it,”  noted Masha Lipman, Moscow Carnegie Center.

In a candidates' debate, Gennady Zyuganov, of the Communist Party, called the announcement “a cheap trick that stinks.”

Vladimir Zhironovsky, a nationalist, who is running for president for the fifth time since 1991, called the plot a “hoax” cooked up “to stir sympathy among less-educated people.” The veteran campaigner added: “Grandmothers, old women, will say, ‘Oh dear, they wanted to murder him, so let us vote for him.”

Political commentator Oleg Kashin asked on Kommersant FM radio whether it is possible such a sensational story can appear on a Kremlin-controlled channel without the approval of Putin’s PR people.

In response, the prime minister’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said linking the plot announcement to the elections is “blasphemous.”

Masha Lipman says she sees the assassination plot announcement as part of a larger campaign to turn around Putin’s slumping popularity.  She said this effort has been effective. “Quite effective, because Putin’s popularity seems to be rising in the last weeks leading to his election.”

In a nationwide poll taken last weekend, 60 percent of respondents said they would vote for the prime minister.  If Putin wins more than 50 percent of votes cast on Sunday, he will not have to go through a second, runoff round.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs