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Ukraine Security Forces Crush Alleged Coup Attempt

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KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) announced Monday, July 1, 2024 that it had thwarted an alleged coup plot to overthrow the government, a scheme that officials say would have played into Russia’s hands.

The alleged coup organisers planned to incite a riot in Kyiv on June 30 as a distraction to seize control of the Ukrainian parliament and remove the military and political leadership from power, according to a statement posted on Telegram by the SBU.

The SBU revealed that four suspects had been identified, with two currently in custody. The accused face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

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Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, in Kyiv, is pictured on August 23, 2023. | Andrii Nesterenk/Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images/File

The security service stated that it had seized weapons, ammunition, cellphones, computers, and other records that provided evidence of the criminal activities.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office detailed that the alleged coup leader had rented a hall with a capacity of 2,000 people and recruited military personnel and armed guards from private companies to carry out the seizure of parliament.

The involvement of several accomplices, including representatives from community organizations in Kyiv, Dnipro, and other regions, was also noted by the SBU.

The connection between the accused and Russia remains unclear, though Russia has waged a full-scale invasion against Ukraine for nearly two and a half years.

The alleged plot comes as Russia has made incremental gains on the battlefield, exploiting Ukraine’s dwindling manpower and its dependence on Western military aid.

The situation in Ukraine remains dire, with Russian forces continuing their offensive. A missile strike on the southern town of Vilniansk on Saturday resulted in the deaths of seven people, including three children, according to Ukrainian officials.

This incident prompted President Volodymyr Zelensky to call for more long-range weapons from international allies.

“I am grateful to all partners who are helping. And the decisions we need must be accelerated. Any delay in decisions in this war means losing human lives,” Zelensky wrote on Telegram.

Concerns over the future of U.S. military support for Ukraine have intensified, particularly with the potential for another Donald Trump presidency.

During last week’s presidential debate, Trump questioned whether the United States should continue to fund Ukraine’s fight against Russia.

Ukrainian politician Oleksiy Goncharenko expressed alarm at Trump’s comments, describing them as “worrying” in an interview with CNN.

As Ukraine navigates these turbulent times, the international community’s response and continued support will be crucial in determining the country’s ability to withstand the ongoing Russian aggression.

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