Ukrainian politician mocks ‘stupid’ UK claims he could lead Kremlin puppet government

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KYIV (Reuters) – Former Ukrainian lawmaker Yevhen Murayev derided British allegations that he could be put in as chief of a Kremlin puppet government in Kyiv, and instructed Reuters in an interview that he was contemplating authorized motion.

Britain’s overseas ministry mentioned on Sunday that Moscow was contemplating Murayev as a possible candidate to lead Ukraine if Russia launched an invasion, and mentioned Russian intelligence officers have been in touch with a number of different former Ukrainian politicians about planning an assault.

Russia blasted the allegations as “disinformation” whereas a Ukrainian official mentioned it needs to be checked out significantly.

“This morning I already learn in all of the information publications this conspiracy concept: completely unproven, completely unfounded,” Murayev mentioned on a video name.

He denied having any contact with Russian intelligence officers and dismissed the concept he could be in league with the Kremlin as “silly”, given he was positioned beneath Russian sanctions in 2018.

“Probably within the UK it was in some way forgotten or missed, or just not even appreciated,” mentioned Murayev, including that the allegations made him doubt the standard of UK intelligence work.

Earlier he had posted on Facebook an image of himself altered to seem like the fictional British spy James Bond.

Kyiv and its Western allies have sounded the alarm over Russia massing troops close to Ukraine’s borders. Russia denies plans to assault however has pressed for safety ensures, together with a block on Ukraine becoming a member of the NATO alliance.

‘PEACE, NOT NATO’

Murayev mentioned he was ready to defend his “sincere identify” towards the British allegations. “Lawyers are getting ready a mechanism for me,” he added. “I’ll defend my honour in courtroom.”

Born in 1976, he started his political profession in his native metropolis of Kharkiv as an ally of the previous President Viktor Yanukovich, who fled to Russia after the 2014 Maidan protests introduced a pro-Western management to energy.

Murayev was a lawmaker from 2014 to 2019. He began within the Opposition Bloc faction, a celebration fashioned from fragments of Yanukovich’s Party of Regions. In June 2016 he based his personal get together, For Life, and in 2018 he launched one other get together, Nashi.

Though he says he desires Ukraine to be unbiased from Russia in addition to the West, Murayev has promoted some views that align with the Kremlin’s narratives on Ukraine.

Speaking to Reuters, he known as for a change of energy in Ukraine and blamed the “collective West” for the conflict within the jap Donbass area. Echoing Russia’s hostility to the alliance, he mentioned:

“Peace, not NATO, is in our pursuits, and if the query now’s that we’ll have a conflict and tons of of 1000’s will die as a result of the collective West desires to see us as a launch pad, I feel that this goes towards our pursuits.”

Murayev instructed Reuters he needed Ukraine to be politically impartial, like Switzerland. He mentioned he believed Russia put him beneath sanctions on the behest of a outstanding pro-Kremlin politician in Ukraine with whom he fell out.

(Writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Pravin Char)



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