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Moscow court arrests alleged attempted assassins of Kremlin propagandist and TV presenter

by The Kyiv Independent news desk July 15, 2023 9:43 PM 2 min read
The Spasskaya Tower is seen through metal barriers at Moscow's Red Square on June 24, 2023. Russia's President Vladimir Putin on June 24, 2023 said an armed mutiny by Wagner mercenaries was a "stab in the back." (Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images)
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A Russian court arrested seven members of the Russian Nazi extremist group NS/WP for allegedly plotting an assassination attempt on Russian propagandist Margarita Simonyan and TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak, Russian state news agency TASS reported on July 15.

It was reported that of the seven detained, four are minors born in 2005 and 2006, the others are 18-year-old Mykhailo Balashov and 22-year-old Yehor Saveliev.

An unnamed NS/WP member told Russian independent media outlet The Insider that detainees were tortured a day before the official detention  and were forced to give false testimony.

After being tortured, the detainee allegedly said the order to kill Sobchak and Simonyan was received from the Ukrainian special services. Allegedly, for each successful killing, a reward of about $16,500 was promised.

“They are being electrocuted, strangled, one of them had his arm broken,” he said.

Earlier, it was reported that Russia’s Federal Security Service or FSB prevented an attempt to kill "two prominent journalists."

Margarita Simonian is the head of Russia Today, a Kremlin-backed international news site and TV channel seen as one of the key outlets of Russian propaganda worldwide. On public television apearances since the full-scale invasion, Simonian has repeatedly called for an escalation of Russia's war, including into an international nuclear exchange.

Ksenia Sobchak, daughter of the late Anatolii Sobchak, once mayor of St Petersburg and former boss of Vladimir Putin, positioned herself as a liberal in Russia, despite appearing herself frequently on state television and even being registered to run for president in 2018.

Russia after Wagner revolt: Will Putin stay afloat or face more turmoil?
The rebellion organized by Russia’s Wagner mercenary group in June is seen by many analysts as a sign of weakness and fragility of Vladimir Putin’s regime. First, several thousand armed mercenaries managed to march for hundreds of kilometers from Rostov to the vicinity of Moscow, and no one
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