| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Russia detains a man it says Ukraine sent to assassinate Crimea’s head

Moscow’s intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB), has accused Ukraine of attempting to carry out an assassination plot against Sergei Aksyonov, the leader of the self-proclaimed “Republic of Crimea.” The FSB claims that the assassination attempt was foiled. This information was conveyed to the state-run TASS agency.
“An assassination attempt organised by Ukraine’s special services targeting the head of the Republic of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, was foiled,” Russian state-run agency TASS reported, citing a statement by the Federal Security Service (FSB).

A video released by the FSB on Telegram showed masked Russian men in army’s uniform detaining a man which Moscow claimed is the man sent by Ukraine to assassinate the head of the Republic of Crimea. The video, seen by WION, shows Russian forces unpacking a sack bag and a red-coloured container, subsequently described by the Russians as the set up of an “explosive device”.
“The bomber did not have time to carry out his criminal intentions, as he was detained while extracting the explosive device from its hiding place,” the FSB said.

The law enforcement officials did not give much information about the detained individual. They only disclosed that he was a Russian national born in 1988.

In an interrogation video released by the FSB on Telegram, and seen by WION the detained man said he was recruited by Ukraine’s Security Service in December 2022 and had undergone training courses on subversive activities and explosives in Ukraine.

Crimean Governor Aksyonov praised the FSB’s “effective” work in preventing the attack.

Russia seized control of Crimea in February 2014 and followed it up with a referendum that it said gave legitimacy to the Russian control over the territory. The official result from the referendum in Crimea was a 97 per cent vote for integration of the region into the Russian Federation. Moscow claimed 83 per cent voter turnout.

The Crimean peninsula has been regularly targeted by strikes and attacks targeting officials that Kyiv and the West deems as pro-Russia in recent months.

During the times of Soviet Union, the Crimean Oblast was part of the union until the 1954 transfer of Crimea into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Crimea became part of independent Ukraine after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. But shortly after, Crimea re-gained its autonomy following a 1991 referendum.

The Ukrainian parliament abolished the 1992 Crimean Constitution and the office of President of Crimea in 1995.

  • Wions