Russian state television reported Monday that security forces have arrested members of a Chechen terror cell who were planning to assassinate Russian President Vladmir Putin. The suspects offered confessions which were broadcast on television on Sunday.
Putin has often cast himself as a strong leader who wants to restore Russian power. The arrest of the Chechens is likely to expand his chances for success going into elections which are called for Sunday.
Putin was President of Russia for 8 years before his current role as Prime Minister. If he is elected next week, as is expected, he will earn another six year term.
Ukrainian security forces said the Chechens were arrested in the port city of Odessa after bombs they were making to kill Putin detonated.
Polls show that Putin is likely to win by a margin guaranteeing him the Presidency on the first round of balloting and without a run off. Putin has faced massive protests throughout Russia for his iron fisted rule. Putin has managed to convince the Russian people that he is a strong leader deserving to restore Russian glory.
One of the Chechens, speaking to Channel 1 said,
“Our goal was to go to Moscow and try to kill Prime Minister Putin … Our deadline was after the Russian presidential election.”
The terrorist was covered in bandages and antiseptic from the blast.
The Chechen rebels have been fighting with Russia for a state where they can live governed by Islamic Sharia law. Russia has responded to the group with brutal military force.
A second terrorist, who also confessed on film, was shown saying the group were to sabotage economic facilities and then try to kill Putin.
There are some with the Russian opposition who think that Putin may be manufacturing this crisis in order to boost his standing with the Russian people.
Do you think Vladmir Putin deserves reelection?