UK Revealed Moscow Trying to Install Pro-Russian Leader in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin (Reuters)

The UK revealed on Saturday that it has information that Moscow is “seeking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kiev”, while fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine grow. London said it had seen evidence that a number of former Ukrainian politicians had links to Russian intelligence services, and that the former deputy Yevgen Murayev he was being considered as a potential leader.

Some of those in contact with Russian intelligence officials were “currently involved in planning an attack on Ukraine.”said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement, although he did not give more details of the tests.

A US official called the alleged plot “deeply troubling.”

The accusations come at the end of a week of intense international diplomacy, which concluded with Antony Blinken and Sergei Lavrov, top diplomats from Washington and Moscow, agreeing to continue working to ease tensions.

Tens of thousands of Russian troops are currently concentrated on the Ukraine border, along with an arsenal of tanks, combat vehicles, artillery and missiles.

Murayev, the man appointed by London, lost his seat in the Ukrainian parliament when his party fell short of 5% of the vote in the 2019 election. He is seen as the owner of the Ukrainian TV channel “Nash”, which regulators seek to shut down. since last year, accusing him of broadcasting pro-Russian propaganda.

The other four politicians mentioned by the UK are Mykola Azarov, Sergiy Arbuzov, Andriy Kluyev and Volodymyr Sivkovich.

Azarov was Prime Minister to pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych. Both fled from Kiev to Russia after the 2014 uprising in Ukraine. that overthrew a government that had rejected pressure to bring the country closer to the West.

Sivkovich, former deputy secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, was sanctioned by the United States this week. for allegedly working with Russian intelligence.

Arbuzov and Kluyev were both deputy prime ministers under Yanukovych.

“The information that has been made public today sheds light on the extent of Russian activity aimed at subverting Ukraine, and is a display of Kremlin thinking,” said Foreign Minister Liz Truss. “Russia must de-escalate, end its campaigns of aggression and disinformation, and follow a path of diplomacy.”

In Washington, US National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said: “This type of plot is deeply troubling.. “The Ukrainian people have the sovereign right to determine their own future, and we stand with our democratically elected partners in Ukraine.”

The claims came hours after a senior British defense source said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had accepted an invitation to meet his British counterpart, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, to discuss the crisis. “As the last defense bilateral between our two countries took place in London in 2013, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has offered to meet in Moscow instead,” the source said.

Ukraine “will fight

Fears of a Russian invasion have been growing for months, and a White House spokeswoman said Tuesday they now believed an attack could come “at any moment.” Few military experts believe that Kiev’s small forces – though rapidly modernizing – can repel a Russian invasion.


But Truss warned on Friday that Moscow still risks being drawn into a “terrible quagmire” if it invades. “Ukrainians will fight this,” he warned.

Russia has pressured Ukraine since the 2014 uprising, Moscow seized the Crimean peninsula in 2014, and a few weeks later a pro-Russian insurgency broke out in eastern Ukraine that has since claimed more than 13,000 lives.

Britain is one of the few Western countries rushing to supply lethal weapons – such as anti-tank missiles – to Ukraine, dramatically raising the possibility of Russian casualties.

But Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday condemned Germany for its refusal to supply arms to Kiev, urging Berlin to stop “undermining unity” and “encouraging Vladimir Putin.”

The German navy chief later resigned after controversial remarks about the crisis, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Saturday. Kay-Achim Schoenbach called the idea that Russia wanted to invade Ukraine “nonsense,” adding that Putin deserved respect, in remarks at a think tank meeting in New Delhi on Friday.

The British Foreign Office on Saturday updated its travel recommendations to Ukraine in light of the current crisis. The department now advises against all travel to Donetsk Oblast, Luhansk Oblast and Crimea. It also advises against all but essential travel to the rest of Ukraine and advises British citizens to register their presence in the country.

With information from AFP


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