Ukraine Leader Alleges Russia-Backed Coup Planned Next Week | World News

By YURAS KARMANAU, The Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday alleged that his nation’s intelligence service uncovered plans for a Russia-backed coup d’etat towards him set for subsequent week that includes one in every of Ukraine’s richest oligarchs.

Both the oligarch and the Russian authorities rejected the allegations.

At a information convention in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, Zelenskyy stated he acquired info {that a} coup was being deliberate for subsequent Wednesday or Thursday.


He didn’t give many particulars to again up his allegation, however pointed to a suspected function of Ukraine’s richest oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov.

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The president stated that Ukrainian intelligence has audio recordings of an alleged assembly between Russian and Ukrainian officers discussing a plan for a coup allegedly funded by Akhmetov, whose fortune is estimated at $7.5 billion.

Zelenskyy refused to reveal additional particulars in regards to the alleged coup, saying solely that he doesn’t plan to flee the nation.


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected the allegations in feedback to journalists in Moscow on Friday.

“Russia had no plans to get involved,” Peskov said. “Russia never does such things at all.”

Akhmetov known as Zelenskyy’s allegations “an absolute lie.” “I am outraged by the spread of this lie, no matter what the President’s motives are,” Akhmetov stated in a press release, relayed to the Associated Press by his spokeswoman Anna Terekhova.

Asked in regards to the alleged coup plans, the U.S. State Department’s prime official for European and Eurasian affairs, Karen Donfried, stated: “We are in touch with the Ukrainian government to discuss this further, and we’re working to obtain additional information.”

Volodymyr Fesenko, a Kyiv-based political analyst and head of the Penta Center assume tank, informed the AP that Zelenskyy focused Akhmetov in retaliation for a “proper information war” the oligarch has waged against the president over the last two months through TV channels he owns.

A mass protest in front of the president’s office is also being planned for Dec. 1.

The analyst pointed to great discontent among Ukrainian oligarchs, including Akhmetov, over a law pushed by Zelenskyy that limits their influence on politics.

Fesenko called Zelenskyy’s reference to Akhmetov in connection with the alleged coup “a pre-emptive signal” for the oligarch to not get in concerned in “risky political ventures, cross the ‘red lines’ and negotiate with Moscow.”

In current weeks, Ukrainian and Western officers have expressed concern {that a} Russian navy buildup close to Ukraine may sign plans by Moscow to invade its ex-Soviet neighbor. The Kremlin insists it has no such intention and has accused Ukraine and its Western backers of creating the claims to cowl up their very own allegedly aggressive designs.

Zelenskyy stated Ukraine has full management of its borders and is prepared for any escalation of the battle with Russia. But he famous that the media are engaged in fearmongering over the potential of such a battle.

He additionally stated that the top of his workplace, Andriy Yermak, will quickly keep up a correspondence with the Russian authorities on the request of the European Council President Charles Michel and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“They want contacts between our administration and the Russian administration. I think that in the near future Yermak will contact them. We are absolutely not against” this, Zelenskyy stated.


Associated Press National Security Writer Robert Burns in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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