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Analysts Skeptical of Thwarted Putin Assassination Attempt

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A Political analyst and a security expert are skeptical of a Russian media report of a foiled assassination plot against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. They say there are political motives designed to garner support for Putin ahead of the upcoming election.

A Russian political analyst and a former deputy chief of the Ukrainian Security Service reacted with skepticism on Monday to a report of an assassination attempt on Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Russian government-controlled Channel One aired that an attempt on Putin's life had been uncovered and foiled by special operations forces in Russia and Ukraine.

According to Channel One, and confirmed by Ukraine's SBU counter-intelligence agency, two men were under arrest and a third died while plotting to kill Putin.

An explosion at an apartment in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa had led to the plot being uncovered.

One man was arrested then, and another was put on an international watch-list and captured a month later.

But a former Ukrainian Security Service deputy chief is skeptical.

[Oleksander Skibinetski, Former Deputy Chief, Ukrainian Security Service]:
"It is without a doubt a PR campaign in my opinion. I would separate here the material which was gathered during the investigation from how it was used. I mean that the material could be real, but the way it is used shows political motives."

A Carnegie Moscow Center political analyst also challenged the report.

[Nikolay Petrov, Political Analyst, Carnegie Moscow Center]:
"So we have people who wanted to learn to plan an assassination, and who blew themselves up during that learning process, but after that, they wanted to go to Moscow and to assassinate Putin. Certainly you can't treat this seriously."

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