Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov
© AP / Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP
The US is increasingly focused on stirring up unrest within Russia and is intent on removing the country's leadership, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has claimed.

Confrontation between Moscow and Washington has become a reality that must be contended with, TASS cited Ryabkov as saying on Tuesday.

"The US has not only waged a hybrid war on Russia," the deputy minister stated, "but is also demonstrating an increasing focus on a change of leadership here, organizing an internal Russian coup."

Western politicians and media outlets openly celebrated what they saw as a threat to the rule of President Vladimir Putin when the Wagner private military group staged a failed mutiny attempt this past summer. While Washington denied any involvement in those events, subsequent reports claimed that Western intelligence agencies had known about the planned revolt in advance.

Tensions between the US and Russia spiked sharply when Moscow began its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. Washington subsequently imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Moscow and provided Kiev with tens of billions of dollars of military and other aid. US President Joe Biden has stated that American support for Ukraine will last "as long as it takes."

Ryabkov's comments about a "hybrid war" echo remarks made by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu at the 10th Xiangshan Security Forum in China in October.

"The West openly took a course on inflicting a 'strategic defeat' on Russia in the hybrid war unleashed against us. Ukraine was cynically chosen as a battering ram, and assigned the role of merely expendable material" Shoigu recounted.

Russia insists that the delivery of Western-manufactured armaments to Kiev makes the US and other NATO countries de facto direct participants in the conflict.