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Russia Claims to Foil Assassination Attempt on Crimean Governor

Russian-installed Crimean Governor Sergei Aksyonov. Sergei Aksenov / VK

Russia’s domestic intelligence agency said Monday it had thwarted an assassination attempt on the Moscow-installed head of annexed Crimea.

"An assassination attempt organized by Ukraine's special services targeting the head of the Republic of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, was foiled," Russian state-run agency TASS reported, citing a statement by the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Video released by the FSB showed masked agents detaining a man outside, after which they unpack a sack bag containing what is described as an “explosive device.”

“The bomber did not have time to carry out his criminal intentions, as he was detained while extracting the explosive device from its hiding place,” the FSB said.

Law enforcement officials offered limited information about the detained individual, only disclosing that he was a Russian national born in 1988.

In an interrogation video, the man — whose face is blurred — said he had been recruited by Ukraine’s Security Service in December and had undergone training courses on subversive activities and explosives in Ukraine.

Crimean Governor Aksyonov praised the FSB’s “effective” work in preventing the attack.

AFP contributed to this reporting.

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