Ukrainian President said Friday that a group of Russian and Ukrainians is planning to stage a coup d’etat in Ukraine next month and that the plotters are trying to enlist the help of the country’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, writes The Washington Post.
Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking at a “press marathon” for local and international media, said that audio recordings, obtained by Ukraine’s security services, caught plotters discussing their plans and mentioning Akhmetov’s name. Akhmetov was not involved in the actual coup plot, however, Zelensky said.
“I believe [Akhmetov] is being dragged into the war against Ukraine,” Zelensky said. “This will be a big mistake, because you cannot fight against your people.”
Zelensky said the alleged coup was being planned for December 1 or 2. He did not provide further details, however.
Ukrainian media in recent weeks have commented on the growing tensions between Zelensky and Akhmetov. Zelensky has launched a “de-oligarchization” campaign to reduce the political influence of Ukraine’s richest people, who control key sections of the economy. Akhmetov, a coal and steel tycoon, also owns media holdings, which in recent weeks have increased their criticism of Zelensky and his administration.