Russia will lodge an official diplomatic protest to Britain over Vladimir Putin’s claims that the United Kingdom trained a Ukrainian hit squad.
The Kremlin dictator offered no proof for his charges that an intercepted team was aiming to damage power lines from a Russian nuclear power plant.
He claimed the squad admitted under interrogation they were ‘under supervision of British instructors’ and threatened dire consequences, admitting his words would be interpreted as ‘nuclear blackmail’.
Now Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said Moscow will lodge a formal diplomatic protest against London over the unproven allegations.
Russia would convey its anger over the alleged plot through both ‘open channels’ and ‘diplomatic channels’, she said.
Yesterday the Kremlin dictator claimed, without providing evidence, that Britain’s elite forces were training Ukrainian troops on how to damage atomic power lines in Russia
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said Moscow will lodge a formal diplomatic protest again London after Putin made the unproven allegations
During a speech at an economic forum in the far eastern city of Vladivostok yesterday, Putin claimed his FSB security service had interrogated a Ukrainian team operating inside Russia.
‘It turned out to be a sabotage group of Ukrainian special services,’ he said.
‘Interrogation showed they had been tasked to damage one of our nuclear stations by exploding a power line… to damage the work of the power plant.
‘And this is not the first attempt,’ he claimed.
He then alleged: ‘During interrogation, they admitted they were trained under supervision of British instructors.’
‘Do [the British] understand what they are playing with, or not? Are they provoking our response at Ukrainian nuclear sites, nuclear stations, or what?’ he said.
‘Does the British leadership, or the Prime Minister [Rishi Sunak] know what their special services are engaged with in Ukraine?
‘Or do they have no clue at all? I assume this is possible, too. I assume it is possible British special services act on the orders of the Americans. Either way, we know the final beneficiary.
‘But do they realise what they are playing with? I am afraid they simply underestimate…. I know there will be howling that starts after my words like “These are threats!”, “Nuclear blackmail!”, and so on.’
Putin, a former KGB spy in the Cold War, told his audience at the 2023 Eastern Economic Summit: ‘I assure you this is the total pure truth. So these guys are telling this to us during interrogation.
‘I know some can say, “They will say anything under a gun”. This is not true. And the leadership of the British special services knows I am telling the truth. But I am not sure the leadership of Great Britain understands what’s going on.
‘These kinds of things are seriously concerning, because they [the UK] don’t feel the ground – which can lead to serious consequences.’
Putin did not specify which branch of British special services he was alleging had trained the Ukrainian sabotage team.
Following up on Putin’s comments today, Zakharova told reporters in a wide-ranging press conference that Russia would be lodging a diplomatic protest over the claims.
‘Let me say yes, absolutely, there will be a [diplomatic protest],’ she said. ‘It is unacceptable to engage in such activities.
‘I will remind you [of] our absolute rejection, censure and demand to stop such activities. [This] will be communicated to the British capital. They have chosen this path of hybrid warfare, total destruction.
‘This is this kind of underhand, in fact, terrorist extremist activity and global, undisguised and unconcealed sponsorship of terrorism and sponsorship of the Kiev terrorist regime. But they [the UK] will get what they are asking for.’
Putin has often sought to blame his invasion of Ukraine on the West, citing NATO expansion as one of the many baseless ‘justifications’ for the war.
While NATO and other Western allies are not directly involved in the fighting of the war, the US, UK and others supplied Ukraine with weapons and equipment, and also trained Kyiv’s soldiers in modern warfare in the build up to the on-going summer counteroffensive
It was reported last month that British special forces had trained around 1,000 Ukrainian marines to conduct daring amphibious assaults on Russian-occupied territory. Pictured: Ukrainian marines being trained in the UK
This has raised fears that the conflict could spill over Ukraine’s borders.
NATO and its members say Putin’s invasion is nothing but an imperialistic land grab and an attempt to overthrow a pro-Western, democratically elected government, and that attacks carried out by Kyiv’s forces are legitimate.
While NATO and other Western allies are not directly involved in the fighting of the war, the US, UK and others supplied Ukraine with weapons and equipment, and also trained Kyiv’s soldiers in modern warfare in the build up to the on-going summer counteroffensive.
For example, it was reported last month that British special forces had trained around 1,000 Ukrainian marines to conduct daring amphibious assaults on Russian-occupied territory.
They learned how to conduct beach raids using inflatable boats – a skill which could help the Ukrainians recapture the Crimean peninsula.
Yesterday, it emerged that a Russian general recently promoted by the Kremlin has warned Putin’s invasion ‘is just the beginning’ and ‘the war will not stop there’.
Colonel General Andrey Mordviche also said he expects future conflicts with European countries in an appearance on the state-run TV channel Russia-1.
While Ukraine has managed to pin Moscow’s armies back in the east, Russian commentators have intensified their anti-NATO rhetoric, regularly calling for Putin and his generals to launch strikes on other European nations while spreading pro-Kremlin propaganda to the Russian people, as well as neighbouring countries.
Mordvichev’s comments provide some insight into what plans are being shared with Moscow’s high-ranking military officials, hinting that Putin intends on continuing his war for years to come, and possibly even push further West.
Yesterday, it emerged that a Russian general recently promoted by the Kremlin has warned Putin’s invasion ‘is just the beginning’ and ‘the war will not stop there’. Pictured: Ukrainian servicemen carry bag containing a body of a dead Russian soldier, September 8, 2023
When asked on Russia-1 if Ukraine was just a ‘stepping stone,’ Mordvichev – who is the commander of the Russian Central Military District – said last year’s invasion was just the beginning of Russia’s military ambitions.
‘I think there’s still plenty of time to spend,’ he said. ‘It is pointless to talk about a specified period. If we are talking about Eastern Europe, which we will have to, of course then it will be longer.
‘It is only the beginning. The war will not stop here,’ he added. ‘I think that all kinds of ideologists and instigators of this war will not stop here.’
Zakharova’s announcement that Moscow would be lodging a diplomatic protest against the UK came as Putin met with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Russia, the first meeting between the pair since 2019.
The highly-anticipated meeting could see the two allies agree on a sanctions-busting arms deal to support Moscow’s on-going invasion in Ukraine, with its supply of munitions dwindling as it fights to fend off Kyiv’s counteroffensive.
Earlier today, the Russian warmonger shook hands enthusiastically with Kim as soon as he stepped out of his black limousine and said he was ‘very glad to see him’.
Kim, one of the few leaders who has stuck by the despot since his full-scale invasion of Ukraine began 19 months ago, told the Russian despot he was fighting a ‘sacred war’ with the West and their two countries would together battle with ‘imperialism’.
Wednesday also saw Ukraine launch a large attack on a strategic shipyard in Russia-annexed Crimea which wounded 24 people, damaged two ships undergoing repairs and caused a fire at the facility, Russian authorities reported.
Ukraine launched its largest attack yet on Russian-occupied Crimea overnight with cruise missiles blitzing a port ahead of Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Kim Jong Un. Pictured: A large mushroom cloud is seen rising over the Black Sea port overnight
The attack in the port city of Sevastopol, which serves as the main base for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, took place as Moscow launched drones against southern Ukraine’s Odesa region.
The pre-dawn onslaught there damaged port and civilian infrastructure in the region’s Izmail district – not far from the Crimean city – and wounded seven people, three seriously, Gov. Oleh Kiper said.
Ukraine’s air force said it intercepted 32 of 44 Shahed-type drones launched over the country overnight, most of them directed toward the Odesa region.
The Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 in an act that most of the world considered illegal, has been a frequent target since Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.