The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, said this Friday that the intelligence services have detected the preparation of a coup in the country for December 1 and ensures that there are recordings of the coup plotters. “I have information that on December 1 we will have a coup. I think it is interesting information,” he said during a press conference with national and international journalists.
According to Zelensky, the Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, known as one of the richest men in the country, would be involved in the possible coup. “I think it is an operation to involve him in a war against Ukraine … and it would be a big mistake, because you cannot fight against your own people.”
The Ukrainian leader has assured that he does not believe that the coup attempt will be successful and says that he has no plans to flee the country. In recent days, the media have reported growing tensions between Zelensky and Akhmetov following the president’s measures to reduce the political influence of the big oligarchs.
Zelensky’s annual press conference comes amid renewed tensions with Russia following reports of the concentration of large numbers of Russian troops on the borders with Ukraine.
In this regard, the Ukrainian leader has said that his country is prepared for an eventual escalation with Russia. “We are fully in control of our borders and are prepared for a possible escalation.” Zelensky added that the country must have full confidence in its Army.
US media wrote last weekend that Russia would be weighing an attack on Ukraine by early 2022 with around 100 battalion tactical groups, comprising about 100,000 men. The eventual invasion would come from different flanks, including the separatist east of Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014. Russia has called this information “alarmist”.
“What we see is a significant increase in the Russian military presence. We see an unusual concentration of troops. And we know that Russia has previously been willing to use these military capabilities to carry out aggressive actions against Ukraine.” said last week the secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg.