Foreign Secretary statement on Kremlin plan to install pro-Russian leadership in Ukraine exposed.
The British Government say they have received information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine.
The former Ukrainian MP Yevhen Murayev is being considered as a potential candidate.
The Government say they have information that the Russian intelligence services maintain links with numerous former Ukrainian politicians including:
- Serhiy Arbuzov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2012-2014, and acting Prime Minister in 2014
- Andriy Kluyev, First Deputy Prime Minister from 2010-2012 and Chief of Staff to former Ukrainian President Yanukovich
- Vladimir Sivkovich, former Deputy Head of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council (RNBO)
- Mykola Azarov, Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2010-2014
Some of these have contact with Russian intelligence officers currently involved in the planning for an attack on Ukraine.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:
The information being released today shines a light on the extent of Russian activity designed to subvert Ukraine, and is an insight into Kremlin thinking.
Russia must de-escalate, end its campaigns of aggression and disinformation, and pursue a path of diplomacy. As the UK and our partners have said repeatedly, any Russian military incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake with severe costs.
A statement on the UK Government website says:
“The UK’s position on Ukraine is also clear. We unequivocally support its sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, including Crimea. Ukraine is an independent, sovereign country.”
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