VLADIMIR Putin’s spies reportedly stopped Ukrainian forces from taking out his Playboy model goddaughter and favoured female aide.
Russia’s FSB claimed they foiled the assassination attempts on the two high-profile women today.
According to the domestic spooks, Ksenia Sobchak and Margarita Simonyan were in grave danger after Ukraine’s intelligence service reportedly ordered their deaths.
The secret service agency further claimed £12,700 was placed on each woman’s head.
Sobchak, 41, has known the Russian President since they were kids.
Her late father Anatoly, the former liberal mayor of St Petersburg, was said to have been a political mentor to Putin.
What’s more, the prominent TV personality is rumoured to be Putin’s goddaughter.
In October, Sobchak reportedly fled to Lithuania to avoid arrest hours after cops raided her mansion in a swanky Moscow suburb.
Police claimed the search was part of a probe into alleged wrongdoing by her media director, Kirill Sukhanov, who was arrested on charges of extortion a day earlier.
She reportedly returned to Russia two weeks later.
Simonyan, 43, is a twisted Putin loyalist who is nicknamed “Goebbels in a skirt”.
She is the editor-in-chief of state broadcaster RT and media group Rossiya Segodnya.
Nevertheless, the FSB are believed to have thwarted attempts to have both of Putin’s close pals killed.
As a result, 22-year-old man Yegor Savalyev was arrested with five accomplices.
Savalyev is from Ryazan, a town just outside Moscow, and is reportedly a neo-Nazi.
According to an FSB interrogation recording, Savalyev stated: “I am Mikail Balashov, born 27 March 2005.
“I live in Moscow. I created a neo-Nazi gang Paragraph 88 and got [my] underage friends involved in it.
“I was contacted by Ukraine’s special services.
“We were offered [to commit] the contract assassination of Margarita Simonyan and Ksenia Sobchak.
“I conducted reconnaissance of Margarita Simonyan’s home in order to get money.
“After that I contacted a curator who was supposed to leave a Kalashnikov automated gun for me and money.
“When I arrived at the place where the weapon was supposed to be, I was caught by the employees of the [Russian] intelligence service.”
Despite the FSB claims, independent observers have cast doubt over the incident.
“This is more likely an FSB provocation,” a source said.
Following a raid on Savalyev’s home, the FSB reportedly seized a Kalashnikov assault rifle, cartridges, Nazi symbols, literature and computers with information about the preparation of the assassination attempt.
Putin’s propagandist Simonyan spoke out after the “foiled plot” and lauded the agents involved.
She said: “The FSB, together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Investigative Committee, detained a group that by order of Ukraine, was preparing my murder.
“They followed me, knew all my addresses.”