LONDON (Reuters) – Britain accused Russia of attempting to install a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine on Saturday, alleging that Russian intelligence officials had been in contact with a number of former Ukrainian leaders as part of invasion plans.

The British foreign ministry refused to give proof to back up their charges, which came at a time when Russia and the West were at odds over Russia’s massing of soldiers along its Ukrainian border. Moscow has stated that it has no intention of invading.

According to the British ministry, the Russian government is examining former Ukrainian legislator Yevhen Murayev as a contender to lead a pro-Russian administration.

On Twitter, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss declared, “We will not allow a Kremlin conspiracy to impose pro-Russian leadership in Ukraine.” “The Kremlin understands that a military intervention would be a huge geopolitical blunder, and that the UK and our allies would punish Russia severely.”

The British statement was issued in the early hours of Sunday morning, Moscow and Kyiv time, and neither the Kremlin nor Murayev responded immediately.

According to a foreign ministry source, sharing intelligence information is not common procedure, and the specifics were only disclosed after careful deliberation to dissuade Russian action.

The statements were denounced by the Russian Foreign Ministry as “disinformation,” accusing Britain and NATO of “escalating tensions” over Ukraine.

“We ask the Foreign Office to halt these aggressive acts, stop propagating falsehoods, and finally focus its efforts on understanding the history of the Mongol-Tatar yoke,” the ministry stated on its verified Facebook page.

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