Russia tells UK to ‘stop spreading nonsense’ about plot to replace Ukraine’s government

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman urged the Foreign Office to 'stop provocative activities'

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Russia’s Foreign Ministry has rejected a British claim that it is seeking to replace Ukraine’s government with a pro-Moscow administration, and that former Ukrainian MP Yevheniy Murayev is being considered as a potential candidate.

The UK Foreign Office named several other Ukrainian politicians it said had links with Russian intelligence services, along with Mr Murayev who is the leader of a small pro-Russia party that has no seats in the Kiev parliament.

The UK government made the claim based on an intelligence assessment amid high tensions between Moscow and the West over Russia’s designs on Ukraine.

A service member of the Ukrainian armed forces walks at combat positions near the line of separation from Russian-backed rebels near Horlivka in the Donetsk region, Ukraine
A service member of the Ukrainian armed forces walks at combat positions near the line of separation from Russian-backed rebels near Horlivka in the Donetsk region, Ukraine

“The disinformation spread by the British Foreign Office is more evidence that it is the Nato countries, led by the Anglo-Saxons, who are escalating tensions around Ukraine,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on the Telegram messaging app on Sunday.

“We call on the British Foreign Office to stop provocative activities, stop spreading nonsense.”

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the information “shines a light on the extent of Russian activity designed to subvert Ukraine, and is an insight into Kremlin thinking”.

The US has mounted an aggressive campaign in recent months to unify its European allies against a new Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the Russian plotting showed the lengths to which the Kremlin was prepared go to undermine the government in Kyiv.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the Russian plotting showed the lengths to which the Kremlin was prepared go to undermine the government in Kyiv.

The White House called the UK government assessment “deeply concerning” and said it stands with the duly elected Ukrainian government.

“This kind of plotting is deeply concerning,” National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said. “The Ukrainian people have the sovereign right to determine their own future, and we stand with our democratically elected partners in Ukraine.”

The assessment came as President Joe Biden spent Saturday at the presidential retreat Camp David outside Washington discussing the Ukraine situation with his senior national security team.

A White House official said the discussions included efforts to de-escalate the situation, with diplomacy and deterrence measures being coordinated closely with allies and partners, including security assistance to Ukraine.