Putin accuses West of plotting to kill Russian journalists

(Recasts headline, adds quote)

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday his main spy agency had foiled what he cast as a Western plot to kill a prominent Russian journalist.

“This morning, the Federal Security Service stopped the activities of a terrorist group that planned to attack and kill one famous Russian TV journalist,” Putin told prosecutors.

“They have moved to terror – to prepare the murder of our journalists,” Putin said.

He did not immediately provide evidence to support his claims. Reuters was unable to immediately verify the claims.

The Interfax news agency said that members of a nationalist group had been detained by Russian authorities. Interfax said. the group, acting on the orders of Ukrainian spies, was plotting to kill Russian journalist Vladimir Solovyev.

Putin said the West was trying to destroy Russia from the inside but that such attempts would fail. He said the US Central Intelligence Agency was directing attempts to undermine Russia and advising the Ukrainian government.

Putin also said foreign media organisations and social media had been used by the West to confect provocations against Russia’s armed forces. Such actions, he said, should be stopped. (Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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