Speaking to Channel One from custody in Ukraine, Mr. Osmayev described the group’s mission: “Our goal was to go to Moscow and try to kill Prime Minister Putin. … Our deadline was after the Russian presidential election.”
Both of Mr. Osmayev’s hands were bandaged, and his face was covered in green dots from an antiseptic used to treat his cuts.
He said he wouldn’t have become a suicide bomber, but the other Chechen who was killed in the accidental explosion might have agreed. Mr. Osmayev added they considered using powerful military mines that would have made a suicide mission unnecessary.
He claimed responsibility for a January 2011 suicide bombing at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport that killed 37 people and injured more than 180. He also had warned that many more such attacks would follow if Russia did not allow the Caucasus to become an independent Islamic state governed by Sharia law.
Mr. Umarov also claimed responsibility for the double-suicide bombing of Moscow’s subway in March 2010 that killed 40 people.
He is seen more as an ideological than a military figure, as many militant cells operate autonomously and shun centralized command.
In response to Russia’s opposition protests, Mr. Umarov issued a statement this month ordering his men to avoid hitting civilian targets, saying that civilians should be spared because they have risen up against Mr. Putin.
Channel One said Mr. Osmayev had led the investigators to a cache of explosives near a Moscow avenue that Mr. Putin uses to travel between his office and a suburban residence. A Russian security officer told the television station that the suspects also had videos of Mr. Putin‘s convoy taken from different angles to prepare for the attack.
Mr. Pyanzin, who also confessed on film, was shown saying the group was to sabotage economic facilities and then try to kill Mr. Putin.