Information on the alleged plans has been provided by a Ukrainian intelligence officer who surrendered
The Russian military claims it has uncovered a plot by Ukrainian hard-line nationalist groups to target diplomatic facilities of the US and other Western nations in the Ukrainian city of Lviv.
Washington and many other Western states moved embassy staff to Lviv shortly before Russia launched its military attack, last month. The city, regarded as a hotbed of Ukrainian nationalism, is about 500km from the capital, Kyiv, and just 50km from the Polish border.
The information on the supposed plot was provided by an officer from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), who Moscow says voluntarily surrendered to Russian forces.
“The officer was directly involved in organizing and training of sabotage and terrorist groups to work in areas liberated from nationalists,” the official stated.
The officer gave the Russian military a list of SBU agents and other individuals involved in such activities, providing information on the alleged plot to target diplomatic facilities in the west of the country, Konashenkov claimed.
“The officer spoke… about [planned] terrorist acts in Lvov [the city’s Russian-language name] against employees and facilities of the diplomatic missions maintained by the US and other Western nations. I’d like to stress that the Kyiv regime is fully aware of the plans harbored by the nationalists, but is doing nothing to prevent them,” Konashenkov stated.
The ultimate goal of the alleged attacks is to blame Moscow for them, using the incidents as leverage to push the NATO countries into providing more weaponry and establishing a long-demanded “no-fly zone” over the country, the official claimed.
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Moscow launched a large-scale offensive against its neighboring country last month following a seven-year standoff over Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk ceasefire agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbas republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to regularize the status of the breakaway regions within the Ukrainian state.
Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the NATO military bloc. Kyiv says the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two rebel republics by force.