The UK in Ukraine

Tuesday, 13 December 2022 — The van says…

This might portray British bravado, but when matters such as these go wrong, they go VERY wrong.

Preamble

Yesterday the British media covered a story regarding the use of Royal Marines in the Ukraine both before and after Russia began its Special Military Operation in the country. This article will examine what this could mean as well as the significance of this announced being made.

Looking for War

As the clouds of war were gathering in Eastern Europe earlier this year, it was becoming obvious that should Russia’s Security Guarantees not come under consideration, there would in all likelihood be a conflict in the region. As Russia gathered military assets to the East of the Ukraine and the Donbass Republics, no Western government would risk having forces in-country unless there was a very good reason for doing so.

Defending the Diplomats

The tale coming from London is that members of 45 Commando Royal Marines went to Kiev in January in order to help evacuate the British embassy to Poland and were there again in April to protect critical staff as the British government returned its diplomatic presence to the country. Whilst an amphibious assault unit of the Royal Marines are hardly the most suitable outfit for a job such as this, as a cover story, some would say that this tale may almost be credible.

Risky Business

Other roles that British assets appear to have played in the area do beg some very serious questions however. To quote from the UK’s Daily Mail:

‘ROYAL MARINES were deployed in Ukraine and TOOK PART in a “SERIES OF HIGH-RISK OPERATIONS”, a former commandant general has claimed. The COMMANDOS were involved in “DISCREET OPERATIONS” and performed tasks in a “HUGELY SENSITIVE ENVIRONMENT”, according to Lieutenant General Robert Magowan – Britain’s Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff and the former head of the Royal Marines.’ (emphasis added)

To read this back in real terms, crack combat troops were put into situations where the outcome could pose serious risks for both the soldiers and potentially global security. Furthermore, they were performing illicit tasks in an area where they absolutely should not have been.

The Royal Navy (to which the Royal Marines belong) told the Daily Mail that ‘…they served no combat function.’ The simple truth is that Royal Marines commandos are elite combat soldiers, and serve no real purpose anywhere except in an area where combat is expected.

Troops as Teachers?

The UK government had been sending materiel and training troops for a number of years prior to the conflict, and once hostilities had begun, it had been reported that the SAS were training the Ukrainians in the use of certain Western weapons systems. The difference with this announcement is that commandos have been deployed to ‘hugely sensitive environments’ in order to conduct ‘discreet operations’, this meaning that serving Western soldiers have visited places they should have not whilst in His Majesty’s Service.

Reasons for the Release

The fact that operations such as these have been made public should be raising more eyebrows than it is. Covert actions are usually kept confidential for decades to reduce the risk of potential blowback, and the UK government would not have allowed Lieutenant-General Robert Magowan to make a statement such as this without there being good reason for doing so. An officer as senior as this announcing such moves will surely enrage Moscow, but that is of no benefit to Number Ten. There will doubtlessly be officials who love to sneer at Moscow’s ire, yet there are a few possibilities behind this statement.

Conditioning by Communication

The reason for this release at a time of such tension may, just as with so many conflicts of the past, be the first step in conditioning the British public to an upcoming war. The UK has been the first to admit to having ground assets in-theater, yet it is widely known that there are other nations who also have assets in the country. If someone as prominent as a Lieutenant-General has publicly stated that the UK has had a presence in the region, others may soon do so in order to condition their people in the same way as they have done with their Russophobic narratives over the last year or so.

Bakhmut or Battle?

Russian forces have virtually encircled the town of Artemovsk (Bakhmut) lll and are now taking the town street by street. It is known that there a myriad of irregular individuals in the region, and as the area slowly comes under Russian control, we can be sure that Moscow’s men will find certain combatants with some very difficult questions to answer. This statement by Lieutenant-General Magowan may be to cover the capture of Royal Marines in this area.

Dead Men Talking

Rather than being captured, some British assets may already have been killed in the battle as well as others, and a statement by a high-ranking officer might be the first step in mitigating the backblast of any revelation concerning the UK losing active-service personnel in a war it is not officially party to. The circumstances of their demise will probably remain a closely-guarded secret, yet if news of British deaths is upcoming, this may be London’s first line of defense.

Reading on the Lines

The fact that this has even been divulged is groundbreaking, yet both the news and the way the media has portrayed an important matter in such a mealy-mouthed manner means that outside of a few hard facts, there is little indication of who has done what and where. This story will likely gain little traction in terms of outcry, yet by opening their mouths, both the media and military may be trying to cover their asses.

Reading between the Lines

Quite obviously both the Royal Marines and SAS have been up to things they shouldn’t and were London not worried, this announcement would probably never have been made. We obviously do not know what the UK government knows at the same time as Moscow has not (yet) commented on either the statement nor any evidence which may be relevant to happenings in Eastern Europe. In either case, we cannot but arrive at some alarming conclusions.

Words or War

If it can be proved that the UK has employed its armed forces against those of either the Russian Federation or the Donbass Republics, this is a prelude to war. No ifs. No buts. A government that has ordered its armed forces to act against another nation has attacked, and therefore has committed an act of war. Moreover, if UK assets have attacked those of Russia, should Moscow strike back, any hope of legitimately invoking Article Five of the Washington Treaty can be forgotten.

Summary

We live in worrying times for a myriad of reasons, but the UK confirming that its troops have been present in the Ukraine hardly inspires much promise. The fact that its troops may still be there, and be accompanied by those of other NATO member states is a worry being contemplated by many in Europe at the moment. The greatest concern however is the actions of these men.

Remembering their role in war, this is the kind of engagement in which commandos excel, yet were Moscow to prove that any British troops had fired on Russian soldiers, this could precipitate towards war between the two nations in a matter of days. Quite how neighboring states will react to this news is as yet unknown, but with their blinkered politics and the assistance they have already rendered to the Ukraine, it is hardly likely they will in any way protest.

The revelations from the UK today are truly worrying. Only time will tell whether London’s ass suddenly needs covering or it is attempting to start a world war and put the world on its ass…

2 thoughts on “The UK in Ukraine

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