It is still unclear what the Secret Service makes of the situation.
The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky got the world’s attention last week when he proclaimed that a coup would be attempted against him on Dec. 1. The President said that it would be carried out by a mix of Ukrainians and Russians.
Furthermore, the President also hinted that the Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, who is the richest and one of the most influential people in Ukraine, was also being dragged into it. Zelensky claimed that he had obtained audio recordings from the Secret Service in Ukraine, SBU, and the SBU yesterday said that they are starting an investigation.
“Proceedings have been opened under Part 1 of Article 109 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – on the fact of preparation of actions by individual citizens of Ukraine and the Russian Federation in order to seize state power,” the SBU statement reads, according to censor.net.
The SBU didn’t give any more details at this point, but the investigation will take place in its Main Investigation Department.
What we know for now
For now, we do not know much about the alleged coup in Ukraine. While the President did say that a coup was underway, he didn’t give many specifics.
“We have challenges not only from the Russian Federation and possible escalation – we have big internal challenges,” Zelenskiy told a press conference, who hinted that Russia could be involved in the coup,“… I received information that a coup d’etat will take place in our country on Dec. 1-2.”
Christopher Miller, a Buzzfeed reporter and used to cover Ukraine, wrote on Twitter that he was able to read parts of the transcripts from the audio recordings about the coup. According to him, the coup was planned by an FSB officer and three defectors of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, who are now in Crimea. Furthermore, he noted that Zelensky, according to his sources, was planning to hand the recordings over to the U.S. later last week.
Some parts of Ukraine have taken the news seriously and see the attempted coup as a part of the recent military buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border. Others, however, are seeing this as a political strategy by the President to pressure the country’s richest person Akhmetov, with who he has several disagreements.
“I see this as Zelenskiy giving Akhmetov and other opponents a final chance to negotiate when it comes to their disagreements over several issues,” said Aleksey Jakubin, an associate professor at Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, to The Independent.
Not true at all
Akhmetov has denied having anything to do with the attempted coup. In a statement, he said that “the information made public by Volodymyr Zelenskyy about attempts to draw me into some kind of coup is an absolute lie. I am outraged by the spread of this lie, no matter what the President’s motives are.”
Ukraine’s former Minister of Interior Arsen Avakov also recently commented on the news. He said that he finds it very unlikely that they are true and asks for evidence.
“I’m not afraid of a coup because I don’t see it…” said Avakov to censor.net and added that he sees the news as a result of a weak President trying to find an excuse, “As a result, we get a situation where there is a crisis in the country, which is not entirely clear how easy it is to resolve. And in this situation, the president is trying to find the culprits, not to suggest a solution. This is a big problem. and fantasies. About the coup, in particular.”