Furore over American 'Putin assassination plot'

An American political analyst, Andrew Kuchins, has accused the Russian Kommersant daily of misinterpreting his research on possible scenarios about Russia's future.

On Thursday, Kommersant published an article citing Kuchins' report for Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies.

It describes the alternative scenarios for Russia outlined by the report, with the most controversial being the contention that Vladimir Putin could be killed before next year's presidential election.

It also describes how Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin may become the country's president, and Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov is sentenced to death after found guilty of corruption.

Meantime, Kuchins says his work has been grossly misrepresented by the leading Russian daily.

“To end up with a headline that an American think tank and American analyst predicts the assassination of Vladimir Putin, which is the result of Mr. Sidorov's article is a complete and irresponsible report,” stressed Andrew Kuchins, senior fellow and director of the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Programme, Washington D.C.

The daily’s correspondent Dmitry Sidorov says Andy Kuchins is over-reacting.

“If Andy Kuchins thinks I misrepresent the major point of view, I would like to know what the major point of view is. I think it is to show different scenarios of what might happen to Russia,” he said.

“Mr. Kuchins was a bit lost in translation. We used the words alternative scenarios and the word prognosis and I think at the end of the day when Mr. Kuchins calms down, we'll be able to shake hands,” Sidorov added.

But Andrew Kuchins says this will not happen anytime soon.