Did anyone, even for just a moment, really believe that there was some sort of credible threat to assassinate Vladimir Putin before the election? Did anyone think that the announcement of this foiled plot was somewhat strategic? No. Here goes Neil Buckley in the Financial Times, who lists no less than four separate foiled plots to kill the great leader:
The Kremlin has spent years perfecting “political technologies” to boost the image of the national leader. The idea that there are bad guys out there trying to kill him helps to enhance the mystique, and Chechens – as in the latest alleged plot – make a convenient scapegoat. (…)
The nature of the plot strains credibility, too: to set off a powerful explosion as Putin’s convoy sped along one of Moscow’s main – and widest – avenues. But one of the biggest questions is just why the authorities felt they had to release this infomation – true or not – right now. With the latest opinion polls showing Putin set to gain up to two-thirds of the vote on Sunday, his victory in the first round of the election looks likely to be sufficiently large to obviate the need for a second round.
Don’t you really miss Vladislav Surkov? He had a much lighter touch in such matters.