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29 Feb, 2024 19:14

UK ‘directly involved’ in Ukraine conflict – Kremlin

Dmitry Peskov has responded to British media revelations
UK ‘directly involved’ in Ukraine conflict – Kremlin

Britain’s direct military involvement in Ukraine was never a secret, but one of the country’s establishment media outlets has now admitted it outright, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said on Thursday.

The outlet RTVI asked Peskov to comment a report from The Times which claimed that Admiral Tony Radakin, the head of the UK armed forces, has helped make “battle plans” for Ukraine.

“In general, it’s no secret that the British really provide different forms of support [to Ukraine]. People on the ground and intelligence and so on and so forth,” Peskov said. “That is, they are actually directly involved in this conflict.”

According to the British outlet, citing a Ukrainian military source, Radakin “is understood to have helped the Ukrainians with the strategy to destroy Russian ships and open up the Black Sea,” and seen as “invaluable in coordinating support from other senior chiefs in NATO.” 

The admiral also reportedly visited Kiev and met with President Vladimir Zelensky, to discuss Ukraine’s strategy and the ways in which the West could help. 

The Kremlin doesn’t have specific information related to Radakin, but “probably our military knows about this,” Peskov said.

Radakin, 58, was due to retire in November after three years as chief of the defense staff, but will stay on the job for another year at Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s request, the Times reported. One source told the outlet that the British government considered it important to retain “continuity” ahead of the upcoming general election.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz this week inadvertently confirmed the presence of UK troops on the ground in Ukraine, noting that British fire control operators were directing Storm Shadow cruise missiles. A British lawmaker subsequently denounced Scholz’s comments as “a flagrant abuse of intelligence” that put UK personnel in danger and gave Russia a pretext to escalate.