Russian state media latched onto a dubious plot to assassinate some of the most famous Russians tied to the country’s state-run media operations Monday, a plot President Vladimir Putin alleged was hatched by Ukraine and the US in the latest example of Russian propaganda backed by suspect evidence spreading wildly.

Key Facts

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According to the Interfax news agency, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested six Russian citizens Monday in a plot to kill Vladimir Solovyov, a prominent pro-Putin firebrand television host and journalist, as well as several other famous Russian journalists including the editor-in -chief of RT, according to to the state-run RIA Novosti news service.

Putin said during televised remarks Monday the plan was devised by Ukrainian security agencies in conjunction with the Central Intelligence Agency, the state-run Sputnik news agency quoted him as saying.

The Security Service of Ukraine denied its involvement in the plot in a statement to Reuters, saying it has “no plans to assassinate V. Solovyev” and saying the story was fabricated by Russia.

The Kremlin has previously pushed baseless theories as part of its information operations during the war, such as falsely claiming the US is funding biological weapons laboratories in Ukraine.

Images of paraphernalia seized from the alleged conspirators showed swastikas and a photo of Adolf Hitler further call into question the plot’s legitimacy, as pointed out by BBC researcher Francis Scarr, given Russia’s consistent and overt aim to portray Ukraine as being overrun by neo-Nazis.


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