Russia reportedly bungles staged arrest by mistaking SIM cards for ‘The Sims’

"I genuinely believe this is a dumb [Federal Security Service] officer being told to get 3 SIMs," said investigator Eliot Higgins

Russia’s Federal Security Service has been accused of staging an assassination plot and mistaking orders to plant SIM cards for The Sims, after three copies of the game auspiciously appeared at the scene of an arrest alongside Nazi paraphernalia.

Yesterday (April 25), the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation reported that six people have been arrested in regards to an assassination plot. According to the Committee, the group was working with Ukrainian security services and planned to target journalist and alleged propagandist Vladimir Solovyov with a car bomb in Moscow.

As reported by the New York Post, shared images of the arrest scene led to sceptics suggesting that the arrests were part of an operation to frame Ukrainian officials as Nazis, something that Russian president Vladimir Putin has repeatedly claimed since launching an invasion of Ukraine.


The images in question display Nazi clothing and literature, Ukrainian passports, and – bizarrely – a copy of The Sims 3 with two physical expansions for the game. Since the images were shared, it’s been suggested that a Russian intelligence officer mistook orders to plant three SIM cards for The Sims 3.

Eliot Higgins – founder of investigation firm Bellingcat, which investigated Putin critic Alexei Navalny’s poisoningjoked that The Sims is part of a “classic saboteur checklist” and said “I genuinely believe this is a dumb FSB officer being told to get three SIMs.”

Likewise, BBC journalist Francis Scarr joked that the Committee’s extensive list of seized goods – including a bomb, thousands of rounds of ammo, seven guns and eight Molotov cocktails – sounded “very realistic”, and added that the images compromised a “Ukrainian neo-Nazi starter pack”.

Back in February, a Russian teenager was sentenced to prison after plans to blow up a government building in Minecraft were discovered on his phone.


In other gaming news, a beta for Overwatch 2 has launched – here’s how to get involved.

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