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Russia’s Putin says not afraid after murder plot

State television on Monday carried news of a plot by Islamist rebels to kill Putin, provoking ridicule from his opponents who said it was a crude attempt to boost the former KGB spy’s popularity before Sunday’s election. Putin, who travels with heavy security, showed his customary swagger as he dismissed concerns about his safety, saying he had lived with such threats since first becoming prime minister in 1999, when he crushed an uprising on Russia’s southern flank. “If you are afraid all the time then you cannot live – let them fear us,” Putin told reporters in Astrakhan, a city on the banks of the Volga River about 1,300 km (800 miles) south of Moscow, Itar-Tass news agency reported. “People in my position have to live with such things,” he was quoted as saying. “I have lived with this since 1999 and it has been going on constantly.”


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