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What We're Watching: A coup in Kyiv?

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gestures as he speaks during a press marathon in Kyiv, Ukraine November 26, 2021.

A coup in Kyiv? "I have received information that a coup will happen in our country on 1 December." So said Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky during an extraordinary news conference last week. The plot, according to Zelensky, involves one of Ukraine's wealthiest men with the backing of sinister (presumably Russian) forces. The accusation comes at a time of high anxiety in Kyiv as Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops along Ukraine's borders for reasons that Russia hasn't clearly explained. What's happening here? We've already written that Ukrainian and Western fears of a Russian troop invasion of Ukraine are highly exaggerated. Russia would win any battle fought with Ukrainian forces, but a war and occupation of Ukrainian territory would come with big costs and risks for the Kremlin. But there's also no reason to believe that Ukraine's military or population would tolerate, let alone support, a Russian-backed coup in Kyiv. Tensions are high and likely to run higher, but war and revolution remain highly unlikely outcomes.


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