Russian security services said Monday that they thwarted an assassination attempt on sanctioned Russian businessman Konstantin Malofeyev.
Malofeyev, 48, is widely known for his Orthodox Christian beliefs and funding of ventures including the far-right Tsargrad news channel and the monarchist Double-Headed Eagle Society. He has been under U.S., European Union and Canadian sanctions since 2014 on accusations of funding pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The Federal Security Service (FSB) said it foiled an attempted car bombing against Malofeyev that was allegedly “organized by the Ukrainian special services.”
The FSB’s claims could not be independently verified, and Ukrainian officials have not yet commented on the allegations.
RIA Novosti published FSB footage showing an unidentified man appearing to place explosives on the underside of what is identified as Malofeyev’s car, followed by footage of a robot dismantling the explosives inside what appears to be a parking garage.
The FSB said the assassination attempt was coordinated by Denis Nikitin, head of the Russian Volunteer Corps, a far-right extremist group based in Ukraine that claimed responsibility for last week’s deadly cross-border incursion in a Russian border region.
It claimed that Nikitin was acting under the orders of Ukraine’s SBU security service.
Ukraine denied directly supporting the Russian Volunteer Corps following last week’s alleged border incursion.
The FSB said the attempt on the tycoon's life resembled that of the killing last August of Daria Dugina, the daughter of far-right thinker and Kremlin supporter, Alexander Dugin.
Malofeyev later said that he was safe and that no threats would affect his “patriotic position.”
AFP contributed reporting.