But the problem with this information is that the person in question is a former Ukrainian politician, who currently runs a sanatorium on the Black Sea.
Oleg Tsarev mocked the talk that he is a pawn in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s grand plan.
He said it was not important enough even to receive an invitation from Russian state television, let alone take the post of president in Ukraine.
And the British newspaper, “Daily Mail”, asked: “Where does the United States get its information about Putin?”, and said that the information war it is waging with Moscow is under the microscope.
US officials in the administration of President Joe Biden said that Russia plans to invade Ukraine on Wednesday, noting that Moscow sent special forces to carry out a mockery to justify the invasion, and even noting that Putin chose the puppet regime that will take power in Kiev.
The “Daily Mail” quoted security and diplomatic sources as saying that the leak of this information comes as part of a strategy to deprive Putin of justifying the invasion, but this strategy has a cost.
A former official said that these reports appear quickly to keep pace with the news cycle, and thus have both positive and negative sides.
Not many seem to believe these accounts, so that journalists at the White House and the US State Department are skeptical about this information, and wonder why they believe these allegations made without evidence.
A Western official had told the Financial Times that Moscow might put Oleg Tsarev and others like him in leadership positions in Ukraine.
But Tsarev retired from politics in 2015 and now runs three Soviet-style health clinics in the Black Sea.
He mocked the allegations and said, “This is a very funny situation.”
British intelligence had said earlier that Putin was seeking to lead his loyalists to the presidency of Ukraine, and mentioned them to Yevvin Murray, which the latter strongly denied.