UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine




  • In World
  • 2022-01-22 23:38:08Z
  • By Axios
 

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "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."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

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  • Vladimir Putin is considering Yevhen Murayev, a former member of Ukraine's Parliament, "as a potential candidate," according to the release from the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

What they're saying: "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," the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in the release.

State of play: Secretary of State Antony Blinken met on Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva, and the chief U.S. diplomat said his counterpart once again assured him Russia has no intention of attacking Ukraine, but added: "We're looking at what is visible to all, and it is deeds and actions, not words, that make the difference."

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

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