Ilya Pyanzin is accused of plotting to kill Putin during a presidential visit by Chechen leader Romzan Kadyrov in Moscow. He faces 20 years behind bars for plotting to assassinate a state official. His guilty plea means he'll likely face a reduced sentence during an accelerated trial scheduled Friday, court officials told Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti.
Pyanzin is described as a radical Islamist. RIA Novosti said he was working with accomplices from Chechnya. Their plot was uncovered during a botched training run in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa last year.
Investigators uncovered the plot shortly after Putin secured a third non-consecutive term in office in 2011. The Russian report said some of the president's critics accused him of fabricating the story.
Pyanzin's alleged accomplice, Adam Osmayev, retracted a confession, saying he was tortured at the hands of Ukrainian investigators. He's facing charges in Ukraine.
Osmayev's extradition was suspended last year after the European Court of Human Rights said it would review the case.
Ukrainian intelligence services said Pyanzin and Osmayev were carrying out a plot ordered by Chechen militant Doku Umarov. Umarov claimed responsibility for the 2010 bombing of a Moscow subway station that killed 40 people. He's described as the Chechen version of Osama bin Laden.
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