Ukraine president accuses Russia of coup plot, warns of invasion
Kiev, Nov 26 (EFE).- Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyi said Friday that Russia is plotting a coup to overthrow the Ukrainian government in early December, amid fears of a Russian invasion due to a military buildup near the border with Ukraine.
He said audio recordings showed that Ukraine’s richest man, Donetsk-born Rinat Akmetov, could be involved in the plot with Russian “representatives”.
In bombshell allegations, Zelenskyi said he believed Akhmetov, who became his bitter rival after the president made taking down the country’s oligarchs his policy priority, was being “dragged” into this by his entourage.
“I think he is being dragged into a war against the Ukrainian state. I believe that would be his big mistake because you cannot fight against your own people, against the president who was elected by Ukrainian people,” he said.
Akhmetov has denied these allegations, calling them “lies”.
“My position was and will always be unequivocal: independent, democratic and united Ukraine with Crimea and my native Donbas. My actions confirm this,” he said in a statement given to Interfax-Ukraine.
Moscow has also denied the allegations that the Kremlin is orchestrating a coup d’etat, saying Russia has “no plans to get involved”.
The alleged coup plot comes amid heightened recent tensions and a Russian military buildup along its border with Ukraine.
Zelenskyi added he didn’t believe a coup attempt would be successful and he was sure it wouldn’t be supported by Ukraine’s military. He said he was not planning to leave Ukraine and there would be ‘a response’ to any external attempts to illegally seize power in the country.
“We see frequent rotation [of Russian troops at Ukraine’s border], aimed to be detected by us, by satellites and by intelligence that a buildup is going on.
“We see Russia is massing troops there and is increasing the number of its military equipment”, Zelenskyi said.
Western intelligence agencies and the US government have also voiced their concerns over the threat of a full-scale Russian invasion against Ukraine. EFE