MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A clandestine cell of the Artpodgotovka movement, led by fugitive politician Vyacheslav Maltsev, planned to carry out high-profile extremist actions with the use of incendiary compounds. However, all members were recently detained in the Moscow region by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). Investigators are considering initiating a criminal case on attempted terrorist attacks.
"The Artpodgotovka activists who have stayed in cities in other countries have formed groups to carry out high-profile extremist acts aimed at the destabilization of the social and political situation," the FSB statement read.
Information about the detainees is not being disclosed due to the ongoing investigation. Moreover, the activity of Artpodgotovka cells in the cities of Krasnoyarsk, Krasnodar, Kazan, Samara and Saratov has been suppressed as well.
"During the celebration of National Unity Day in Tomsk, extremists were planning to organize mass riots", the FSB statement informs.
According to the investigators, both attacks were planned for the November 4-5 holidays and were supposed to provoke mass unrest in Russia.
Artpodgotovka is an interregional public movement, also the name of the video blog of Vyacheslav Maltsev. The movement is aimed at ousting Putin from power, the signing of a peace treaty with Ukraine, lustration in Russia, the abolition of "any taxes" for citizens and small enterprises, "the prohibition of the repressive intelligence services in Russia."
Meanwhile, Maltsev, who described himself as a nationalist and anarchist, has said on YouTube that Russia is up for a revolution this weekend just as the nation prepares to mark the centennial of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution on Nov. 7. Maltsev, a former regional legislator from Saratov, unsuccessfully ran for the federal parliament in 2016. He left Russia during the summer, and in October was arrested in absentia on extremism charges.