REPORTING FROM MOSCOW -- Russian state television reported that security forces have prevented an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's life, saying the suspects were arrested in Ukraine after an explosion at a rented apartment in early January.
A televised video of a confession by a man identified as one of the plotters said the group was preparing to kill Putin with anti-tank land mines following the March 4 presidential election, which Putin is expected to win, returning to the office in which he once served two terms.
Some political experts questioned whether the January arrests had anything to do with Putin and said the TV report may be an attempt to garner support for Putin prior to the coming election.
The TV report said several attempts on Putin's life had been prevented in recent years and that the information gleaned from Ukraine helped in uncovering a cache of explosives buried near a public road.
-- Sergei L. Loiko
Photo: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks at a massive campaign rally at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Thursday. Credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko / Associated Press