The United Kingdom has accused Russia of allegedly trying to install a "pro-Russian leader" in Ukraine and of maintaining links with certain former Ukrainian politicians.
"We have information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine. The former Ukrainian MP Yevhen Murayev is being considered as a potential candidate," the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said in a Saturday statement.
The UK foreign office also claimed that Russian intelligence services are "involved in the planning for an attack on Ukraine" and are maintaining contact with numerous former Ukrainian politicians including Ukraine's ex-Prime Minister Mykola Azarov.
"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," British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said as quoted in the release. She called on Russia to de-escalate and warned of "severe costs."
This controversy comes amid the Ukraine border crisis that has heightened tensions in Europe. Several western countries led by the US have accused Russia of amassing troops near the Ukrainian border in alleged preparation for an invasion.
Moscow is saying it has no intention of invading Ukraine while stressing that it has the right to move forces within its own territory. (ANI)