Western analysts claim to have evidence exposing a Moscow scheme, as the Ukraine ambassador to the UK says his country will “fight to the death”. The UK Foreign Office said on Saturday that it has evidence which exposes Putin’s plan to install a Russia-friendly government in Ukraine, a claim which has been backed by US officials.
The Kremlin and former Ukrainian MP, Yevhen Murayev, who the Foreign Office claims will be installed by Russia in Kyiv, have denied the claims, describing them as “disinformation.”
But ‘Western Analysts’, quoted in Politico, said Moscow’s plan “could allow the Kremlin to send troops into Ukraine and claim it was helping a new government rather than invading a free country.”
It added that Ukraine is in a state of “high anxiety” as troops gathered on its border.
Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK Vadym Prystaiko did agree with the prediction of a Russian coup.
He said to Sky’s Trevor Phillips: “It’s not the first time they’re trying to do so.
“We have nowhere to go, we are cornered in our own biggest land.”
He added that Ukrainians “would fight to death, unfortunately.”
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said of the evidence the UK government claims to hold: “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.”
In their statement, the Foreign Office added: “The UK’s position on Ukraine is clear.
“We unequivocally support its sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, including Crimea.
“Ukraine is an independent, sovereign country.”
Dominic Raab staid that there was “a very significant risk of invasion, and threatened “a very severe economic price, including sanctions.”
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He added, however, that it was “extremely unlikely” British troops will be sent to defend Ukraine as it’s not a NATO ally.
In a tweet in response, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said “we urge the Foreign Office to stop spreading nonsense.”
The tweet also stated: “Anglo-Saxon nations are escalating tensions around #Ukraine.”
This comes as around 130,000 Russian troops surround Ukraine.
The West has rejected Moscow’s main demands, which include promises from NATO that Ukraine will never be added as a member, that no alliance weapons will be deployed near Russian borders, and that it will pull back its forces from Central and Eastern Europe.
The US has also ordered family members of US personnel in Ukraine to leave the country, and has said they will send a written response to Moscow this week.
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Several Western countries have begun to supply weapons to Ukraine as tensions escalate.
The UK has supplied 30 elite troops and 2,000 anti-tank weapons to the country, while a statement from the Baltic states revealed that Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania would send other weapons to bolster Ukrainian forces.
Germany, however, has limited Estonia’s ability to contribute by neglecting to give them the export licenses required to send German-made howitzers – artillery pieces – to Ukraine.
This comes after the German naval commander Kay-Achim Schönbach resigned on Saturday for appearing to deny the Russian scheme.
Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has issued an indirect call for Western aid in the Financial Times, saying: ““If you are bullied at school, the bully doesn’t bully you if you have strong and big friends, and it’s the same with deterrence.
“The biggest deterrence to Russia is an American flag.”