A Moscow court on Saturday issued criminal charges against seven people to kill two prominent Russian journalists in what it says was a Ukrainian-backed plot, Russia's state-owned TASS news agency said.
The court approved the detention until September 14, under criminal charges of hooliganism, of five teenagers and two men it said were part of an organized group, TASS said.
TASS said Russia's FSB security service detained an unspecified number of people on Friday who conducted reconnaissance near the homes and workplaces of journalists Margarita Simonyan, head of state media outlet RT, and Ksenia Sobchak, who ran against President Vladimir Putin in 2018.
Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in televised remarks that Russia was living in an absurd "constructed mythology."
Asked about the case in an interview, Podolyak played down its significance, saying the journalists "do not play any important role" in the war, nor in the loss of Russia's positions on the world stage.
Interfax news agency quoted the FSB as saying that the detainees had admitted preparing attacks on the two women on behalf of Ukraine and had been promised a reward of 1.5 million rubles ($16,620) for each one.
Simonyan, a vocal supporter of Russia's war in Ukraine, posted a message on Telegram about the alleged plot, urging the security services to "Keep on working, brothers!"
Sobchak, whose late father Anatoly Sobchak was Putin's political mentor, said that if the assassination plans were true, then "thank you all the involved services for their work."
In a post on her Telegram channel, which often carries reports critical of Russian government policy, she added that if the reports were untrue, "and the idea was just to put me and Simonyan in the same sentence, then this is the usual nastiness.
"In any event, I want to report, any terror is evil, no ifs ands or buts," she added.
In the past year, bomb attacks inside Russia have killed prominent pro-war Russian figures, journalist Darya Dugina and military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky. Russia blamed their killings on Ukraine, while Kyiv denied that and portrayed them as evidence of Russian infighting.
In May, a prominent Russian nationalist writer, Zakhar Prilepin, was wounded in a car bombing that killed his driver. Investigators said a suspect had been detained and had admitted acting on behalf of Ukraine.