Support The Moscow Times!

Suspect in Putin Murder Plot Pleads Guilty

A Kazakhstan national accused of plotting to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted his guilt ahead of his upcoming trial in Moscow, a court spokesperson said Wednesday.

Ilya Pyanzin's trial, which kicks off Friday, will be fast-tracked and his possible sentence capped at two-thirds of a maximum, the spokesperson told RIA Novosti. Pyanzin stands accused of plotting to kill a state official, as well as banditry and illegal firearm production and possession, the combined penalty for which is 20 years in prison, according to Moscow City Court data on its website.

Investigators say Pyanzin was a radical Islamist who planned to use a self-made bomb to blow up a cortege carrying Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov in Moscow. However, Pyanzin and his two alleged accomplices from Chechnya botched the job when training to use explosives in the Ukrainian city of Odessa last year, investigators said at the time. One of the two Chechens was killed by the blast, and Pyanzin and the other Chechen, Adam Osmayev, were detained some time after the explosion.

The incident came to light shortly before the presidential election, which brought Putin back to the Kremlin. Rivals of Putin accused him of fabricating the story, but his spokesman dismissed the criticism, insisting that the plot was real.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.