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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid