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Russia says 18 arrested in Crimea over alleged plan to assassinate Russian-installed officials

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a Kremlin meeting, March 16, 2022. (Screenshot)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on December 11 that its officers had arrested 18 people it alleges are pro-Ukrainian agents suspected of planning assassinations of Russian-installed officials in Ukraine’s Russian-annexed Crimea.

They include the peninsula’s de facto governor, Sergei Aksyonov; the speaker of Moscow-controlled Crimean parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov; and the de facto mayor of the Crimean city of Yalta, Yanina Pavlenko.

In October, the FSB said it detained a man in Crimea on suspicion of plotting an assassination of Russian-friendly former Ukrainian lawmaker Oleh Tsaryov.

Last week, Ukrainian authorities claimed responsibility for the killing near Moscow of pro-Russian Ukrainian politician Illya Kyva.