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UK accuses Kremlin of trying to install pro-Russian leader in Ukraine -Breaking

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© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: The roof of the Russian Embassy in Kiev (Ukraine), September 18 2016, is decorated with a Russian national flag. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

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By Michael Holden

LONDON, (Reuters) – Britain accused Russia of trying to install a proRussian leader in Ukraine. It claimed that Russian intelligence officers were in touch with a few former Ukrainian politicians in order to plan for invasion.

British foreign minister declined to support its allegations. This came as tensions were high between Russia and the West due to Russia’s deployment of troops close to its Ukrainian border. Moscow claims it doesn’t intend to invade.

British Ministry said that it was aware of information suggesting the Russian government considered Yevhen Muraev, a former Ukrainian lawmaker, as a candidate to lead a pro-Russian organization.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss released a statement saying that the information was “a window on Russian activity to subvert Ukraine” and gave an insight into Kremlin thinking.

Russia must stop escalating, cease its aggressions and disinformation campaigns, and follow a diplomatic path. We and our allies have repeatedly said that any Russian military intervention into Ukraine will be costly.

British officials released their statement on Sunday in Moscow and Kyiv.

Sources in the foreign ministry said that it is not common practice for intelligence to be shared and details were only declassified following careful consideration of Russian aggression.

These claims by the British come just days after top U.S. diplomats and Russian diplomats did not make significant progress in negotiations to end the Ukraine crisis. However, they continued to talk. Russia is making security demands upon the United States. These include a stop to NATO’s eastward expansion, and the pledge that Ukraine won’t be permitted to join any Western military alliance.

Murayev (45) is a proRussian politician, who supports Ukraine’s integration into the West. According to a poll by the Razumkov’s Centre think tank conducted in December 2021, he was ranked seventh among candidates for the 2024 presidential election with 6.3% support.

Britain supplied Ukraine with 2,000 missiles this week and also provided a team to train military personnel. It said that it has information suggesting Russian intelligence agencies were keeping links with ex-President Viktor Yanukovich’s former political associates.

Yanukovich, who fled Russia after protests for three months against his rule in 2014, was sentenced absentialy to 13 years imprisonment on treason convictions in 2019.

‘PLANNING TO ATTACK’

The British foreign ministry stated that some of the individuals had contact with Russian intelligence officers who are currently planning to attack Ukraine.

Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister’s Downing Street Office said also that Boris Johnson planned to increase pressure on Russia this week and call for European counterparts in order to defeat Russian aggression.

Earlier, RIA reported that British foreign Minister Truss was scheduled to visit Moscow in February with Sergei Lavrov. In addition, Sergei Shoigu (Russian Defence Minister) and Ben Wallace (British counterpart) have already agreed to host talks.

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