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British squaddies get drunk, must be Russia's fault! Analyst blames ‘Putin’s operatives’ after soldiers thrown off Estonian train

British squaddies get drunk, must be Russia's fault! Analyst blames ‘Putin’s operatives’ after soldiers thrown off Estonian train
A British defense analyst has suggested that an incident involving misbehaving soldiers stationed in Estonia may have been “constructed” by Moscow's spooks as a means of discrediting NATO and its operations near Russia's borders.

Last weekend, six British troops were kicked off a train in the Estonian town of Jogeva, 30km from the border with Russia. According to London-based tabloid the Mirror, the soldiers were removed from the locomotive after fellow passengers complained about their drunken debauchery. Rail staff had to tell them multiple times to stop intimidating civilians by being loud and aggressive, the paper claimed.

After being thrown off, the soldiers were handed over to NATO military police. The squaddies are part of the military bloc’s Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup, located in central and northern Europe.

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While drunk and disorderly behavior is a fairly common occurrence for groups of British men abroad in Europe during the summer months, one analyst suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin may have been behind the boozy episode.

Speaking to the Mirror, Bruce Jones, dubbed a ‘Russia expert’ by the publication, claimed that a “serious incident could be constructed deliberately by Putin’s operatives.”

Jones, who works at influential American lobby group the Brookings Institution, is commonly quoted by British tabloid media as an authoritative voice on Moscow’s affairs, regularly producing alarmist predictions. However, there seems to be no record of the lobbyist working on the ground in Russia, at least in recent years.

This spring, during Russian military exercises near the Ukrainian border, Jones suggested that Moscow “is pulling out all of the stops in order to be able to wage the widest possible range of hostilities against Ukraine.”

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Shortly after, Russia withdrew its troops back to their home bases.

The recent incident isn’t the first time British soldiers have gotten into trouble in Estonia in recent months. In May, squaddies were reported to have been involved in a scrap with a group of locals in the city of Tapa, with Estonian men apparently objecting to a soldier’s attempts to chat up a woman.

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