Ex-MP described by the UK's Foreign Office as Ukraine's ?pro-Russia leader?-to-be, speculates on London's motives
Former Ukrainian MP Evgeniy Muraev, named by the UK Foreign Office as a potential "pro-Russian leader" who might be installed in Kiev by Moscow, has poured scorn on the claim, saying it was "a question for Mr. Bean."
On Saturday evening, the Foreign Office issued a statement claiming Britain had exposed a plan by the Kremlin to replace Western-backed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, naming Murayev as the "potential candidate" poised to be installed in Kiev. No evidence was given to support the allegations.
"Since 2018, I have been under Russian sanctions due to a conflict with Medvedchuk [chairman of the Opposition Platform - For Life party]. My family's assets have been seized there. How do the British intelligence services and the Foreign Office manage to connect it with the fact that Russia allegedly wants to appoint me the head of the 'occupation government'? This is a question for Mr. Bean," Murayev told the Kiev news outlet Strana, referring to the foolish protagonist of a popular British comedy series.
Yevheniy Murayev. Wikimedia Commons
In a separate interview, Murayev, who is also the founder of Ukraine's Nash TV network, expressed his amusement at the allegations, and offered a possible explanation for the motives behind them.
"I have a hard time digesting stupidity and nonsense. Maybe someone wants to shut down yet another independent TV channel," he told The Telegraph.
"As someone who has been under Russian sanctions for four years, barred from Russia as a national security threat, and whose father got his assets frozen in Russia, I find it hard to comment on the Foreign Office's statement," he said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has dismissed the Foreign Office's "coup" allegations, describing them as "nonsense" and "disinformation."