Russian troop building-up along the Ukraine border. (Photo: AP)
LONDON: The UK has accused Russian President Vladimir President Putin of plotting to install a pro-Moscow figure to lead Ukraine’s government.
The Foreign Office took the unusual step of naming former Ukrainian MP Yevhen Murayev as a potential Kremlin candidate, BBC has said.
Russia has moved as many as 100,000 troops near to its border with Ukraine but denies it is planning an invasion.
UK ministers have warned that the Russian government will face serious consequences if there is an incursion, according to BBC.
In a statement, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “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.
“Russia must de-escalate, end its campaigns of aggression and disinformation, and pursue a path of diplomacy.
“As the UK and our partners have said repeatedly, any Russian military incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake with severe costs.”
Russia has seized Ukrainian territory before, when it annexed Crimea in 2014, after the country overthrew their pro-Russian president.
Western and Ukrainian intelligence services have suggested another invasion or incursion could happen some time in early 2022, after Russian forces amassed on the border, according to the BBC report.
Russia has denied it is planning any attack but President Putin has issued demands to the West, including that Ukraine be prevented from joining the Nato military alliance.
He also wants Nato to abandon military exercises and stop sending weapons to eastern Europe, seeing this as a direct threat to Russia’s security.