The government of Ukraine says it foiled a coup détat. If there was no intervention, the coup would have taken place next week, President Zelensky said. As proof of the coup plans, he argued that intelligence agencies have audio recordings with Russian voices in their possession.
“We are not only challenged by Russia, but also have major internal challenges. I received information that a coup would take place in our country on December 1 or 2,” Zelensky said at a press conference. He gave no further details about the plot. Moscow has immediately denied that it is involved in the issue.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been rising considerably in recent weeks. The Kremlin is sending more and more military and equipment to the border area with Ukraine, something that, according to Kiev and NATO, may indicate military escalation and a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
But Russia denies intending to be such a thing and says it is allowed to place military personnel on its own territory where it wants. It calls Western reports of a possible Russian attack false and alarming.
Ukraine and Russia have been involved in a military conflict since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. In the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army face each other.
The separatists would receive support from Russia, Ukraine gets help from the US. Formally, a ceasefire applies, but casualties still regularly fall over and over again.
In September, the car of an advisor to President Zelensky was under fire. A month earlier, Kiev and Western countries held a Crimean summit, where Zelensky emphasized that the Moscow annexed peninsula Crimea in 2014 belongs to Ukraine. From now on, “the countdown begins to the end of the occupation,” he said then.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov called the summit “a witch feast” and a Kremlin spokesperson spoke of an extremely hostile and anti-Russian meeting.