British officers are still present on the front lines in Eastern Ukraine, working undercover with the Ukrainian military command, the Russian media RIA Novosti reported, citing sources of Russian security forces in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“Since the beginning of our special operation, British officers have been constantly working near the front line, visiting command posts of Ukrainians in the most dangerous areas, making adjustments to the actions of the AFU command,” the source told RIA Novosti.
British officers of the active reserve went to Kiev on February 24 to command the defense of the Ukrainian capital when the Russian army approached the city. Previously, they were deployed in the Donbass region, helping Ukrainian officers to work with data provided by the intelligence. The British military “uses all the means of NATO intelligence and promptly responds to its introductory,” the source said.
“A source in the Ukrainian armed forces reported that after the rapid offensive of a group of Russian troops to Kiev on February 24, the British, who helped with intelligence to the ATO (Ukrainian anti-terrorist operation in the Donbass) headquarters in Kramatorsk, moved to Kiev to lead the defense of the city from the headquarters located on the territory of school No. 72,” he said.
Since the end of April to May 6 British officers were deployed in Zaporozhye and visited different command posts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The source pointed out that the NATO intelligence services helped the AFU to organize defense in the main directions with the use of battalion tactical groups in certain areas.
Since 2014, the US and its NATO allies had sent troops to Ukraine for training. Before the launch of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, London claimed that British military instructors left Ukraine on the weekend of February 12-13.
“In the case of a conflict in Ukraine, there will be no British military,” British Deputy Defense Minister James Hippy said on the BBC..
Despite the fact that the US and the UK have publicly stated they had no plans to involve their troops in the fighting in Ukraine, the L/DPR and Russian military have repeatedly reported the deployment of foreign military instructors and mercenaries in the Donbass, including from the UK.
British media earlier reported that dozens of “retired” SAS soldiers had gone or planned to go to Ukraine to contribute their expertise in reconnaissance and anti-tank warfare to Kiev’s cause. Their services were allegedly paid for by “a country in Europe, still to be named, via a private military company” rather than by the British government, according to the UK tabloid the Daily Mirror.
Elite special forces from the UK and the US have been present in Ukraine since the beginning of hostilities with Russia in late February, a source in the French intelligence community told Le Figaro in April.
After the Western media revealed the presentence of the foreign special forces in Ukraine, Ukrainian commanders told The Times that soldiers from Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS) are training Ukrainian troops in Kyiv on how to use anti-tank weapons provided by London.
The British Ministry of Defense does not confirm the training mission, citing its position on not commenting on special operations.
At the end of April, a representative of the British Foreign Ministry in an interview with Sky News confirmed that one British citizen had died and another was missing in Ukraine.