US has new Ukraine coup plot theory – media
American intelligence believes that former MP Oleg Tsaryov could be made leader of a Ukrainian puppet regime after a successful Russian invasion causes the Kiev government to fall, Britain’s Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
Citing an anonymous source in a Western intelligence agency, the outlet suggested that Tsaryov, who served in Ukraine’s parliament until 2014, would be made head of the country.
Moscow “might position Oleg Tsaryov, and others, in leadership roles as part of this effort,” the source said, as quoted by FT.
According to the newspaper, his name appeared in US intelligence materials that were shared with Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand, all members of Five Eyes intelligence alliance.
Tsaryov, who served in Parliament for twelve years, is best known for standing as a pro-Russia candidate in the 2014 presidential election until he withdrew after attacks from Ukrainian nationalists.
He then defected to Donetsk, where he became the first speaker of the parliament of Novorossiya, a breakaway state in east Ukraine that lasted less than a year. He later moved to Crimea, where he now resides and runs a medical retreat.
Speaking to the FT, the former presidential candidate called the suggestion “funny,” noting that his current job description is “director of a sanatorium.”
Tsaryov is not the only former Ukrainian MP who has been accused of being a major actor in a Russian coup plot. Last month, the British Foreign Office alleged that Moscow was planning to bring a pro-Russian government to power in Ukraine, headed by Evgeniy Murayev, a former member of the Opposition Bloc party.
London offered no proof of the plan, which was later slammed by Moscow as “misinformation.”
Speaking to British newspaper The Observer, Murayev accused London of being “confused.”
“It isn’t very logical. I’m banned from Russia. Not only that, but money from my father’s firm there has been confiscated,” he said.