Claire Bigg, RFE/RL, February 27, 2012
Russian media are abuzz with reports that secret services have foiled a plan to murder Vladimir Putin. The timing, however, is raising eyebrows.
News of the plot, reported on February 27 by Russia's Channel 1 state television, comes just six days before a presidential election that's expected to sweep Putin back into the Kremlin after a four-year stint as prime minister.
Many Russians have reacted with suspicion, suggesting on social media that the thwarted plot was fabricated and timed to attract sympathy for Putin before the election.
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'Foiled Murder Plot' Raises Eyebrows Among Putin Critics