Were the Royal Marines involved in damaging a Russian warship?

LONDON ($1=0.81 GBP) — There is “discreet operations support” in Ukraine by the Royal Marines of Great Britain. That’s what Lieutenant General Robert Magowan says. His claims were published in the Globe and Laurel, the official publication of the Royal Marines. The information provided by the British officer has the flavor of “a high level of military and political risk”. At this time, Moscow has no official response to Magowan’s claims.

Were the Royal Marines involved in damaging a Russian warship?
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

The general initially confirmed the presence of Royal Navy marines in Ukraine. Their goal was to safely bring out the employees of the British Embassy in Kyiv. This news really shouldn’t be a breaking story, because logically, that’s how it’s done in principle, and at the beginning of the war, we and other media also announced it.

The British marines were from 45 Commando Group, the British general said. British Defense Minister Ben Wallace personally spoke about the deployment of “a small number of military personnel” even before Russia invaded Ukraine. Their goal, according to the British minister, is “training and arming” Ukrainian soldiers.

After the mission was accomplished, Marines from the 45 Commando Group deployed to Norway to participate in a NATO exercise. This happens in March. Later, in April, they were again returned and deployed to Ukraine to participate in the protection of diplomatic personnel sent to restore the diplomatic mission in Ukraine. It was during these two phases, says Lieutenant General Robert Magowan, that British troops in Ukraine were involved in supporting “discreet military operations” that were carried out in a sensitive environment “and with “a high level of political and military risk”.

However, the British general, making his statement, wanted to make it clear that there was no direct participation of British military personnel in the hostilities in Ukraine. They were not performing any combat function, says the general.

BulgarianMilitary.com sources have confirmed over the past nine months that there is a British military presence in Ukraine. But the first “proof” seemed to come in late October when the Russian 11356R-class missile frigate Admiral Makarov was damaged after an unmanned underwater vehicle [UUV] attack. The attack took place while the frigate was at the Sevastopol military base.

Even then, the Romanian military expert Mr. Valentin Vasilescu, said the UAV that hit the Russian warship was not a Ukrainian development, but a technology used by the British Navy. Mr. Vasilescu even said the Ukrainian base from which the ship was attacked was known and had been home to British special forces since before the start of the war.

“Not far from the Crimea is the Ochakov base [at the mouth of the Southern Bug west of Kherson], which houses the 73rd Marine Special Operations Center, which before February was made up of about 300 members of the SBS and the British SAS, officially “instructors”. This unofficial NATO base was opened in 2017. I highly doubt that all the SBS left in February,” says Vasilescu.

UK remotely piloted naval attack drones strike Russian ships
Photo credit: Twitter

It was the attack on this Russian ship that caused Russia to leave the “grain agreement” and turn to the UN. Even then, these actions of Russia caused interest, since Moscow turned to the UN at a time when not only this Russian ship was attacked, but also other Russian targets. I.e. Moscow most likely also believed that the defeats on the missile frigate Admiral Makarov were not the result of military actions by Ukraine, but the result of “foreign involvement”.

It’s possible that British special forces or marines took part in the attack on the Russian frigate. There may still be British special forces stationed at the 73rd Marine Special Operations Center. There has been no official confirmation of this, but until today there has also been no official confirmation of the involvement of Royal Marines in “discreet operations in a highly sensitive environment and with a high level of political and military risk”. And it turned out that as early as March, Britain was involved in them, even if not directly, as claimed by Lieutenant General Robert Magowan.

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