Ukraine ‘needs new leaders’: ex-MP accused by UK in Russia plot
A former Ukrainian member of parliament that the UK said was being considered by Russia as a potential Kremlin-friendly head of state in Kyiv said Sunday his country needed fresh leadership.
“The Ukrainian people need rule of law, peace, sound and pragmatic economic and social policies, and new political leaders,” former MP Yevgen Murayev wrote on Facebook.
He was one of several figures named this weekend by the British Foreign Office, which alleged it had information that Moscow was “looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv” as fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine grow.
London said it had seen evidence that several former Ukrainian politicians had maintained links with Russian intelligence services and that Murayev was being considered as a possible leader.
“The time of pro-Western and pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine is over,” he wrote Sunday.
“I appeal to everyone who is invested in Ukraine’s fate: stop dividing us into categories — into pro-Russian and pro-Western — stop putting us head to head against each other and we will build peace in our country ourselves,” the post continued.
Murayev lost his seat in parliament when his party failed to win five percent of the vote in 2019 elections. He is understood to be the owner of a television channel that was closed last year on allegations it was airing pro-Russia propaganda.
The United States said the revelations of the plot were “deeply concerning”. Moscow dismissed them as “disinformation”, and urged London to “stop spreading nonsense.”
Tensions between Moscow and Washington are on a knife’s edge over Ukraine, which Europe and the United States has said has been surrounded by some 100,000 Russian troops in preparation for an invasion.