Vladimir Osechkin, the founder of the Russian human rights project Gulagu.net, on Sept. 19 said he had been subject to an assassination attempt in the French city of Biarritz.
In a livestreamed interview with journalist Yulia Latynina, he said Bellingcat investigator Christo Grozev, who had previously warned him of a possible murder attempt, had saved his life.
Osechkin said the attempt had been prepared by “a person closely connected with the FSB (Russia’s security service) and organized crime” who came to Biarritz from Russia.
According to the human rights activist, after receiving information about the planned assassination attempt, he and his family “evacuated” to the mountains for two days, and when they came back, someone tried to shoot him.
“I was carrying plates (of food) into the hall to give to the kids, and in my peripheral vision, on one of the terraces, I saw a red dot moving over the terrace railing and further along the wall toward me,” he said.
Osechkin said he and his family had undergone special training in this case.
“We were prepared for this, we were trained so that, if anything, we would not delay and not wait for them to shoot us,” he said.
“Of course, we put the lights out at once, the kids got on the floor, they and my wife spent about an hour in one of the most protected rooms.”
According to Osechkin, when the police arrived at the scene, they interviewed the neighbours, who said they had heard some “shots.”