A Neo-Nazi group in Russia targeted Margarita Simonyan and her husband, according to the FSB.
A neo-Nazi group that was allegedly ordered by Kiev to kill TV anchor Vladimir Solovyov had several other targets, including RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, according to video footage released by Russia's Federal Security Service FSB. The FSB claimed that it had detained a group of neo-Nazis. According to the service, the group had been ordered by the Security Service of Ukraine SBU to kill Russian TV host and journalist Vladimir Solovyov. The FSB later released a video of what they said was the detention, search, and questioning of the suspects.
One of the detainees said the group had been discussing the possible murders of the director general of the Sputnik news agency, Dmitry Kiselyov, the editor-in-chief of Sputnik and RT, Margarita Simonyan, and her husband, the prominent film director and TV host Tigran Keosayan, as well as TV hosts Olga Skabeeva and Evgeny Popov.
He said that the murders of people who spread propaganda were discussed, that is, Solovyov, Kiselyov, Skabeeva and Popov, Keosayan, Simonyan.
Simonyan said: All people are mortal and to die for not being silent but for having the luxury of speaking the truth and protecting your Motherland in a way that you find right and possible is no scarier than slowly going out of an incurable disease or from inevitably getting old. My attitude towards it is philosophical and Christian. The detained suspect also revealed that the SBU had ordered the group to kill Vladimir Solovyov as soon as possible, and also discussed setting cars with symbols of support for the special operations and army recruitment offices on fire. The FSB claimed during the searches that it had seized an explosive device, eight Molotov cocktails, six handguns, a sawed-off hunting rifle, and a grenade. It said more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition were seized along with fake Ukrainian passports. A portrait of Adolf Hitler can also be seen in the video shot at the suspects' apartment.
Director of the FSB Alexander Bortnikov revealed a number of additional details regarding the group in an interview with the Rossiya TV channel. He claimed that it consisted of six Russian citizens from Moscow. All of them have been arrested, he said.
According to Bortnikov, the group was linked to the Neo-Nazi organization National Socialists White Power. Bortnikov claimed that the main task of the suspects was to determine the location of the assassination attempt and therefore, according to him, the members of the group had been following Solovyov around.
Kiev denies involvement in the alleged assassination plots and has claimed that the operation of the FSB was staged. Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to retake the two republics by force.