Attempted Murder of Rossiya Segodnya Chief Editor Prevented, Russian Federal Security Service Says

© Sputnik / Go to the mediabankMargarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of the Russian international media group Rossiya Segodnya (to which Sputnik Africa belongs).
Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of the Russian international media group Rossiya Segodnya (to which Sputnik Africa belongs). - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 15.07.2023
Margarita Simonyan (born 1980) is a Russian journalist, who is the editor-in-chief both of the media group Rossiya Segodnya (of which Sputnik is part) and the television network RT.
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that it had managed to prevent an assassination attempt on the editor-in-chief of the Russian international media group Rossiya Segodnya (to which Sputnik Africa belongs), Margarita Simonyan, by Ukrainian special services (namely the Security Service of Ukraine, SBU).
The FSB also said that another assassination attempt organized by the Ukrainian special services against the prominent Russian TV personality and journalist Ksenia Sobchak was also successfully thwarted.

"The Federal Security Service, together with the Investigative Committee and the Russian Interior Ministry, prevented the Ukrainian special services from preparing the assassination of Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the RT television channel and the Rossiya Segodnya international news agency. According to the available information, the assassination of Ksenia Sobchak was also prepared," the FSB said in a statement on Saturday.

The assassination attempts were said to have been prepared by members of the neo-Nazi group Paragraph-88 on behalf of the SBU.
Ukrainian law enforcers, armed with military equipment, have been deployed in the streets of Odessa, in southern Ukraine, which is on high alert following threats of a terrorist attack - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.05.2023
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The FSB reported that on July 14, members of the neo-Nazi group Paragraph-88 were detained in Moscow and Ryazan region, who carried out reconnaissance at the addresses of work and residence of the targets.
"In the course of the investigation, they confirmed the preparation of assassination attempts on behalf of the SBU for a reward of 1.5 million rubles for each murder," the FSB said.
According to the Russian security service, the SBU accomplices, who were preparing assassination attempts, were found in possession of an assault rifle, knives, ammunition, computers with assassination plans and means of communication.
"During the investigation, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, 90 cartridges for it, knives, brass knuckles, rubber truncheons, handcuffs, chevrons and flags with Nazi symbols, Nazi literature, as well as means of communication and computers with information confirming their criminal intentions were seized from the detainees," the FSB said.
The head of the Russian Union of Journalists, Vladimir Solovyov, told Sputnik it could be a second wave of assassination attempts against Russian journalists.
"It's dangerous to be a journalist these days. It is always more dangerous for our valiant military correspondents who work on the front line, but now it is dangerous at home. We know that attempts were being prepared last year on both [TV presenter] Vladimir Solovyov and Margarita Simonyan, as it turns out today, [attempts were being prepared] again, the second wave," he said.
The Russian Union of Journalists head also thanked the Russian law enforcement officers that caught the perpetrators, adding that Kiev has been resorting to intimidation and terror.
In April, Russian military reporter Maxim Fomin, known under the name of Vladlen Tatarsky, was killed in a detonation of an improvised explosive device brought to a cafe in St. Petersburg. Daria Trepova was detained on suspicion of involvement in the explosion. Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee said the Ukrainian special services and the supporters of Russian non-profit Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK, designated extremist organization and foreign agent, banned in Russia) masterminded the terrorist attack.