British intelligence officials say Russia wants to bring a pro-Russian leader to power in Ukraine. Former Ukrainian parliamentarian Yevchen Murayev would be a potential candidate for this post.
Russian intelligence agents have also reportedly been in contact with a number of former Ukrainian politicians in connection with invasion plans. Among them would be former Prime Minister Mikola Azarov. Azarov resigned in January 2014 after major pro-European protests in the country.
The UK Foreign Office would not say where the information came from. According to a source at the ministry, it is not customary to share intelligence matters and details were released only after careful consideration in an effort to deter Russian aggression.
“A huge strategic mistake”
Britain’s foreign secretary said a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be “a huge strategic mistake” with serious consequences. She also calls on Russia to defuse and “walk the path of diplomacy”.
The Russian Foreign Ministry calls the information “disinformation” and “proof that it is precisely the NATO countries, under Anglo-Saxon leadership, who are aggravating tensions around Ukraine”, the agency said. of Russian press Ria Novosti.
Relations between Russia and Ukraine have been under high tension since Russia November last year began building up a force on the border with Ukraine.
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