The Foreign Office has accused Russia President Vladimir Putin of plotting to install a pro-Moscow leader as head of the government in Ukraine.

There are worries that Putin is considering invading Ukraine, as Russia has gathered forces on its border.

Former Ukrainian MP Yevhen Murayev has been named by the Foreign Office as a potential Kremlin candidate to take over in Kyiv, which is considered an unusual step by the government branch.

Western allies are stepping up their rhteoric against Russia, warning that heavy economic sanctions will come if any kind of incursion was made into Ukraine.

In a statement, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the Russian plotting showed the lengths to which the Kremlin was prepared go to undermine the government in Kyiv.

Bournemouth Echo: Liz Truss sent out a statement to Mr Putin (PA)Liz Truss sent out a statement to Mr Putin (PA)

She said: “The information being released today shines a light on the extent of Russian activity designed to subvert Ukraine, and is an insight into Kremlin thinking.

Russia must de-escalate, end its campaigns of aggression and disinformation, and pursue a path of diplomacy.

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“As the UK and our partners have said repeatedly, any Russian military incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake with severe costs.”

Mr Murayev lost his seat in the Ukranian parliament back in 2019 after his Nashi political party failed to secure 5% of the vote in elections.

He has reportedly spoken out in the past in support of Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.