British minister: Russia wants to help the pro-Russian leader in Ukraine get to power

British minister: Russia wants to help the pro-Russian leader in Ukraine get to power

British intelligence officials say Russia wants to bring a pro-Russian leader to power in Ukraine. It is reported that former Ukrainian parliamentarian Yevshin Murrayev is a possible candidate for the post.

It is also said that Russian intelligence agents were in contact with a number of former Ukrainian politicians as part of the invasion plans. Among them is former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. Azarov resigned in January 2014 after large pro-European protests in the country.

The British Foreign Office did not say where this information came from. According to a source in the ministry, it is not customary to share intelligence, and the details were revealed only after careful study with the aim of deterring Russian aggression.

A fatal strategic mistake

Britain’s foreign secretary said a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be a “big strategic mistake” with grave consequences. It also calls on Russia to de-escalate and “walk the path of diplomacy”.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry describes these reports as “disinformation” and “evidence that NATO countries, under the Anglo-Saxon leadership, are escalating tensions over Ukraine,” the RIA Novosti news agency said.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine have been strained since Russia began building a force on its border with Ukraine last November.

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