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SBU verifies info on possible coup preparations – Venediktova

KYIV. Dec 1 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian Security Service has verified information on possible preparations for a coup before opening a criminal investigation into the matter, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said.

"I’ve studied the history of entering the criminal proceedings in the Unified Register of Pretrial Investigations," Venediktova told journalists in Kyiv on Wednesday.

The announcement on a possible coup attempt was made on November 26, and the criminal probe was entered in the Unified Register of Pretrial Investigations on November 28, she said.

"Why do we have such things with timing? As the story […] involves information from intelligence agencies this way or another, the Security Service, which entered it in the Unified Register of Pretrial Investigations, verified and analyzed this information, and then the investigation started doing its immediate job," she said.

Venediktova said she could not provide any details of the investigation just two days after the criminal proceedings were opened. "After all, it’s probably better to wait for the Security Service’s official comments, because we see that our streets are not very calm nowadays. Let’s see and not worsen the situation and not divulge information," Venediktova said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said at a press conference on November 26 that, based on some intelligence, a coup might have been plotted in Ukraine on December 1 and 2, in which businessman Rinat Akhmetov might have been involved.

Akhmetov himself described the reports on attempts to drag him into a coup as "an absolute lie."

The Security Service said on November 30 that its Main Investigative Directorate was conducting a pretrial criminal inquiry into actions potentially aimed at seizing power. The proceedings have been opened on a count of "preparation by certain citizens of Ukraine and Russia of activities aimed at seizing power."