Russia's FSB 'investigate plot from within to assassinate Putin'

Russian secret services ‘investigate plot from within to assassinate Putin after agent boasted he had been told to “remove” Vladimir’

  • A Russian telegram channel with close links to Moscow’s security agencies reported an informant had told them of an ‘agent’ boasting of the plot
  • Russia’s security services are now hunting the ‘agent’ after being tipped off 

Russian secret services are investigating a plot from ‘within their own ranks’ to assassinate president Vladimir Putin, according to a report.

Telegram channel VChK-OGPU – which has close links to Moscow’s security agencies and law enforcement – said an informant had told them of an ‘agent’ boasting he had been given a ‘task’ to ‘remove’ the dictator.

The bizarre claim came at a meeting in karaoke club Honey, in Chekhov, near Moscow, a known haunt of security services operatives, reported the channel.

The supposed agent showed the informant – named as Mikhail Yurchenko, 37, a construction industry entrepreneur – his service ID card during a ‘long heart-to-heart conversation about the war and future life in Russia’.

The informant ‘did not argue and changed the topic’.

Russian secret services are investigating a plot from ‘within their own ranks’ to assassinate president Vladimir Putin (pictured Wednesday), according to a report

The bizarre claim came at a meeting in karaoke club Honey, in Chekhov, near Moscow, a known haunt of security services operatives, reported the channel

He became ‘haunted’ after the karaoke club conversation at the threat to Putin and reported it to police, according to the channel.

‘The special services have been searching for several days for the unknown person who planned to “remove” Putin,’ stated VChK-OGPU.

‘Based on his tip, operatives went to study the situation in the Honey club, where…you can often meet employees of various [secret] departments.’

Paranoid Putin – 71 on Saturday – is known to take his security extremely seriously and, according to reports, regularly changes locations and travel routes.

Reports have also suggested he regularly employs a body double at various official events around Russia to keep up his ‘man of the people’ appearance, while really hiding in his various boltholes.

Russian security services are accused of seeing and dealing with many supposed terrorist plots to justify their effectiveness.

In recent weeks Putin has been seen out and about more than for several years, regularly seeking to justify his war against Ukraine and making attacks on the West.

This comes ahead of an expected announcement next month that he will seek a new six-year term in the Kremlin. Elections are due in March 2024.

Putin told student participants in the International Financial Security Olympiad in Sochi that he had many admirers in Europe who shared his traditional values.

‘I want to defend our friends,’ he said. ‘We have a lot of friends in Europe… ‘People who believe that traditional values, including the family, have died out.’

Modernisers in the West ‘behave very aggressively, particularly in North America and Europe. ‘But there are quite a lot of people in European countries who share our values.

‘I’d say a lot. They simply behave more quietly and don’t show off their opinion. That’s why I wouldn’t split everyone.

‘On the contrary, I want to try to unite everyone around our platform.’

Russian special services have been searching for the unnamed person who said he had been given the task of ‘removing’ Putin. Pictured: Russia’s FSB headquarters in Moscow (file photo)

His defence of traditional family values brought a backlash.

One telegram channel branded him ‘a divorced man living with his mistress, calling his [adult] daughters ‘one woman’ and ‘second woman’.’

He ‘never showed himself with his children and grandchildren’ while taking holidays in Siberia with a male companion.

‘Again he has said that in the West they are against traditional family values,’ it said.

Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported on Tuesday that Putin could soon announce his intention to take part in the 2024 presidential election. 

Such a move would pave the way for the Kremlin chief to stay in power until 2030.

As part of a conference in November, officials suspect that Putin may announce he will take part in the election in March next year, Kommersant reported, citing unidentified sources close to the presidential administration.

But the newspaper, one of Russia’s most respected, said there were other scenarios for what Putin might do at the conference and the final decision rested with him.

When asked about the Kommersant report, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he knew nothing about a plan to announce Putin’s bid in November.

‘I know nothing about the presidential campaign being officially announced in November,’ Peskov said. ‘I do not have such information. I have nothing more to add.’

Putin, who was handed the presidency by Boris Yeltsin on the last day of 1999, has been leader for longer than any other Russian ruler since Josef Stalin, beating even Leonid Brezhnev’s 18-year tenure.

Putin turns 71 on Oct. 7.

While many diplomats, spies and officials have said they expect Putin to stay in power for life, there has yet to be any confirmation of his plans to run in the 2024 presidential vote.

Putin said last month he would make an announcement on his plans only after parliament called the presidential election – due by law to be done in December.

Peskov said last month that if Putin decided to run, then no one would be able to compete with him.

While Putin may face no competition for votes, the former KGB spy faces the most serious set of challenges any Kremlin chief has faced since Mikhail Gorbachev grappled with the crumbling Soviet Union nearly four decades ago.

The war in Ukraine has triggered the biggest confrontation with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and the biggest external shock to the Russian economy in decades. 

Putin faced a failed mutiny by Russia’s most powerful mercenary, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in June. Prigozhin was killed in a plane crash two months later.

The West casts Putin as a war criminal and a dictator who has led Russia into an imperial-style conflict that has weakened the country and forged Ukrainian statehood while uniting the West and handing NATO a post-Soviet mission of opposing Russia.

People walk past a police car in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, March 20, 2023

Putin, though, presents the war as part of a much bigger struggle with the United States, which the Kremlin elite says aims to cleave Russia apart, grab its natural resources and then turn to settling scores with China.

The former Soviet spies who wield power in Moscow have repeatedly warned of the risk of a Russia-NATO conflict as the West’s post-Cold War dominance wanes, Russia lays to rest the humiliations of the Soviet collapse and China rises as a superpower.

The West says it does not want a NATO-Russia conflict but simply to help Ukraine defeat Russian forces. 

The Kremlin says the West will never achieve Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.    

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