Vladimir Solovyev, Russian Journo Marked for Assassination, Says Plot Linked 'Directly' to Zelensky

© Sputnik / Ilya Pitalyev / Go to the mediabankRussian television journalist and radio host Vladimir Solovyev. File photo.
Russian television journalist and radio host Vladimir Solovyev. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.04.2022
On Monday, Russia's Federal Security Service announced that it had arrested members of an international neo-Nazi group cooperating with the Security Service of Ukraine planning to assassinate a well-known TV and radio host. Commenting on the incident, President Putin said Moscow has info that Western security services were involved.
Vladimir Solovyev, a Russian media personality Russia's FSB said had been marked for assassination, believes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky may have been directly involved in the plot.

"I think Zelensky is directly connected to this, because he threatened me directly, that is, he has mentioned my name repeatedly", Solovyev said.

Solovyev said the plot uncovered by the FSB made clear that he was the Ukrainian president's "favourite journalist".
"For some reason I drive him mad", he said.

Solovyev said he has been concerned about his safety for some time due to threats against his life by Zelensky and others, but said he didn't notice any surveillance by the plotters or by the FSB. "No, I didn't notice anything. There weren't any signs of anything, which speaks to the professionalism and precision of the work of the relevant authorities", he said.

The journalist said he only found out about the plans to assassinate him when the FSB made its announcement on Monday morning. He thanked the security services for their work.
Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.04.2022
FSB Detains 'Neo-Nazis' Plotting to Kill Russian Journalist Solovyev on Kiev Instructions
The FSB, Russia's main domestic security agency, announced earlier in the day that they had arrested Russian members of "National Socialism/White Power", an international neo-Nazi group, who were planning to kill Solovyev on the instructions of the Security Service of Ukraine. The detained members of the neo-Nazi organisation have given confessions, and indicated that they planned to flee abroad after killing the journalist.
In searches of the arrested individuals' homes, investigators reportedly found an improvised explosive device, Molotov Cocktails, multiple pistols, a sawed off hunting rifle, a grenade, and over a thousand rounds of ammunition. Narcotics, fake Ukrainian passports, and various ultra-right-wing literature and paraphernalia was also discovered, according to the FSB.
President Vladimir Putin mentioned the plot in a briefing with officials from the Russian Prosecutor's Office on Monday, saying it was linked to the failure of Ukrainian and Western officials and media to turn Russians against the government.
"...They have switched to a policy of terror - to preparations to kill our journalists. And here it should be noted that we know the names of the curators from Western services, primarily, of course, from the US Central Intelligence Agency, who work with Ukrainian security agencies, and who, apparently, give such advice", Putin said.
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is shown in the lobby of the CIA headquarters in La.. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.04.2022
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Zelensky has mentioned Solovyev repeatedly throughout the course of his presidency.
Solovyev's name is up on Myrotvorets (lit. "Peacekeeper"), a website publishing the personal information of "enemies of Ukraine". The site lists him as a "Russian war criminal" for spreading "propaganda of Russian Nazism and fascism". Multiple Ukrainian opposition figures and civil society activists whose names were put up on the site have subsequently been assassinated.
A photographer takes a picture of an armed man in military fatigues standing guard outside the security service (SBU) regional building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 23, 2014 - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.04.2022
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Solovyev has been a mainstay of the Russian political talk show scene for over a decade. Starting out in the 1990s as a prominent liberal commentator, he gradually shifted his views in a conservative direction in the 2010s, hosting the hit political show "Duel", in which prominent politicians, philosophers, and historians would debate one another on a variety of issues, and continuing his work on television with a similar format in his programme "Evening With Vladimir Solovyev". He is also the host of "Moscow. Kremlin. Putin", a weekly politics chat show that airs Sundays, and hosts a radio show similar in style to American political talk radio.
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