Leaked documents revealed that Vladimir Putin had already considered two different people for the role of leaders in the newly acquired territories of Ukraine, should his invasion of the country go ahead as planned.
According to documents leaked to Ukrainska Pravda, the first person considered to run Ukraine was Viktor Medvedchuk, to whose daughter Putin is the godfather.
Medvedchuk served as Ukraine’s main negotiator with the Kremlin and handled prisoner swaps in Ukraine before Volodymyr Zelensky’s term.
But under Zelensky, he ended up under the investigation of Ukrainian law enforcement officers.
He was put on house arrest for suspected state treason at the beginning of 2022.
Reports show that Ukrainian intelligence later suspected that Medvedchuk was aware of Putin’s plans to invade Ukraine and was “waiting for him” to back his strategy and run the country.
But he disappeared as soon as it was clear Ukrainian troops were holding the fort in Kyiv.
Putin’s plan B at that point was to give power to Viktor Yanukovych, former Ukrainian Prime Minister until 2014 when he was removed from office in the Revolution of Dignity and he fled the country.
An official from the time of Yanukovych’s presidency claimed: “Trust me, the Russians bet on the ‘non-critical import’ – the return to Ukraine of all those who fled the country after 2014. There are enough deserters to staff several governments. If they came back, it would have been enough to appoint several of them to key positions, and then the wheels of the system would start turning and lower-rank positions would get filled.”
Yanukovych flew to Minsk in Belarus but also later vanished from the public’s eye as quickly as he had reappeared.
Ukrainska Pravda wrote: “It is now difficult to consider these plans as anything other than second-rate sci-fi. In early February 2022, however, real efforts were made in preparation to implement both.”
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