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6 Mar, 2023 07:34

Ukrainian attempt to murder Russian media mogul foiled – FSB

A neo-Nazi “controlled” by Kiev allegedly attempted to place a bomb under Konstantin Malofeev’s car

A Ukrainian bomb plot targeting the owner of a Russian TV channel has been thwarted by the Federal Security Service (FSB), the agency claimed on Monday. It pinned the alleged assassination attempt on a Ukraine-based Russian-born neo-Nazi, who also claimed credit for a deadly cross-border raid last week.

The plot allegedly involved rigging a bomb to the car of billionaire Russian entrepreneur Konstantin Malofeev, owner of the Christian-focused TV channel Tsargrad, the FSB said in a statement.

It compared the plan to the assassination of political activist and journalist Darya Dugina, whose car was blown up last August near Moscow. The FSB alleged that the murder was orchestrated by Ukraine’s special services.

The FSB named Denis Kapustin, leader of the so-called Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), as the plot organizer. The statement described him as "acting under the control of the SBU" (the Security Service of Ukraine).

Kapustin entered the international media spotlight last week, after his organization conducted a cross-border raid in Russia’s Bryansk Region in which two civilians were reportedly killed. He claimed the operation was authorized by the Ukrainian government, contradicting official statements from Kiev. 

The FSB has shared footage, which it claims shows a man planting a bomb on Malofeev’s car at some point during the winter, judging by the conditions. The Mercedes was moved to a secure location, where bomb experts removed the device, according to the video.

The agency claimed that Kapustin was also responsible for an attempted “terrorist attack,” which it said happened in August 2022 in Volgograd Region. It shared footage showing a car, its windshield apparently riddled with bullets, and at least two bodies, with a handgun lying on the floor next to one of them. The same clip featured a fuel can planted next to a gas pipeline, presumably an improvised explosive device that would have been used to sabotage it.

According to the FSB the two plotters, who were killed after resisting arrest, belonged to radical right-wing groups organized by Kapustin. Their surnames were Keyner and Ushkov, it said.

Malofeev commented on the news, assuring that nobody was hurt in the alleged plot and stating that no incident could change his “impassioned and honest patriotic position.” He said he hoped there would be justice for the assassination of Dugina.