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Zelensky: Kremlin planning campaign to destabilize Ukraine, potential coup

by Nate Ostiller November 17, 2023 4:39 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky on Nov. 4, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Viktor Kovalchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Russia is plotting a destabilization campaign against Ukraine known as "Maidan 3," aimed at sowing chaos and ultimately fomenting a coup, President Volodymyr Zelensky said to reporters on Nov. 16.

Zelensky cited information from Ukrainian intelligence, as well as information stemming from Western countries. He didn't provide documents to back his claim.

“Maidan is (a) coup for them, so the (name of the) operation is understandable,” Zelensky said.

Maidan refers to the 2014 EuroMaidan Revolution that led to the ousting of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, which culminated on Kyiv's Independence Square, known in Ukrainian as Maidan Nezalezhnosti.

The square was also the primary location of the 2004 Orange Revolution, in which protesters demonstrated against an election widely seen as rigged.

Ukraine’s Orange Revolution
Ukraine’s Orange Revolution was a series of protests, held mostly in Kyiv, that lasted from November 2004 to January 2005 as a response to election fraud. After reports that the results of the Nov. 21, 2004, presidential election run-off between ex-Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko and then Prime Mi…

The Orange Revolution prevented Yanukovych (in his first run for office) from becoming president. The pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko was declared the rightful winner of the election.

Maidan as a political term received its name from the 2004 protest.

Stirring up domestic discontent has been a regular strategy that the Kremlin uses to try and destabilize countries that Russia wants to control or have more influence over.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu alleged on Oct. 6 that Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin attempted a coup against her as part of a larger plot to destabilize the country.

The plot was ultimately unsuccessful, but Russia has continued to funnel money into Moldova to destabilize the country, including allegedly spending over a billion Moldovan lei ($55.45 million) to influence local elections earlier in November.

Investigation: Leaked document exposes Kremlin’s 10-year plan to undermine Moldova
Editor’s note: This story is a collaboration between the Kyiv Independent and media partners, including Delfi Meedia (Estonia), Expressen (Sweden), Dossier Center (U.K.), Rise Moldova, Frontstory, VSquare (Poland), Süddeutsche Zeitung, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Rundfunk WDR, Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Ge…
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