Report: Security Agents Foil Attempt to Assassinate Putin

ReutersA woman passing a billboard of Putin in a town in Kosovo on Saturday.
The Tvoi Den newspaper reported Saturday that security forces foiled an attempt by a sniper to kill President Vladimir Putin near the Kremlin this month.

The Kremlin declined to comment on the report by the popular tabloid, which is known for its strong sources in law enforcement circles. Itar-Tass cited a security source denying the report.

Tvoi Den, citing an unidentified source, reported that a sniper was arrested shortly before Putin walked through the gates of the Kremlin on election night, March 2, to appear at a concert held next to the Red Square. The concert was held to celebrate Dmitry Medvedev's victory in the presidential election, and, although the two men walked through the gates together, the newspaper said Putin was the only target of the plot. Tvoi Den printed a photo of a young man from Tajikistan, the suspected sniper, who was arrested in an apartment in a residential building next to Red Square.

The Federal Security Service declined to comment on the report.

FSB director Nikolai Patrushev said earlier in the week that his agency had prevented a number of acts of terrorism and sabotage due to coincide with the election.

In October, the FSB warned Putin that suicide bombers and kidnappers were preparing to kill or capture him during a visit to Tehran. Putin did not cancel the Iranian trip.