Russia warns ‘Britain is too deep’ into the Ukraine conflict and says it has proof it carried out drone attack on the Black Sea fleet
- Russia’s ambassador insists he has evidence of UK aiding attack on Putin’s fleet
- Andrei Kelin has said the country is involved ‘too deep’ in the Ukraine War
- Russia said it lodged a ‘strong protest’ over Nord Stream and Black Sea attacks which it accuses British forces of helping to orchestrate
- Britain denies direct attacks on Russia, but is open about its support for Ukraine
The UK is ‘too deep’ in the Ukraine war, Russia’s ambassador warned while insisting the Putin will not use nuclear weapons in an attack.
Diplomat Andrei Kelin alleges he has evidence of UK special forces’ participation in a Ukrainian drone attack on Russia’s Black Sea fleet, which he claims to have passed on to his UK counterpart.
Speaking to Sky News’ Mark Austin, Mr Kelin said: ‘We perfectly know about [the] participation of British specialists in [the] training, preparation and execution of violence against the Russian infrastructure and the Russian fleet in the Black Sea. We know that it has been done.’
Mr Kellin said that the evidence will be made public ‘pretty soon’.
He added: ‘It is dangerous because it escalates the situation. It can bring us up to the line of I would say no return, return is always possible. But anyway, we should avoid escalation.
‘And this is a warning actually that Britain is too deep in this conflict. It means the situation is becoming more and more dangerous.’
Diplomat Andrei Kelin alleges he has evidence of UK special forces’ participation in a Ukrainian drone attack on Russia’s Black Sea fleet, which he claims to have passed on to his UK counterpart
Russia has previously warned of ‘dangerous consequences’ after summoning the UK’s ambassador to show her ‘evidence’ that Britain helped plan attacks on the Nord Stream pipes and its Black Sea Fleet.
Deborah Bronnert was hauled into the foreign ministry in Moscow this morning and forced to run a gauntlet of stage-managed protesters holding placards that said ‘Britain is a terrorist state’ and ‘Britain will answer for the Nord Stream’.
Moscow said it had delivered a ‘strong protest’ to Bronnert, adding that ‘such confrontational actions of the English carry a threat of escalation and could lead to unpredictable and dangerous consequences.’
The UK has not given its own run-down of the meeting, but denies carrying out any direct attacks on Russia or its assets. Britain has been upfront about providing aid to Ukraine’s war effort, which Moscow was warned about before Putin invaded.
Deborah Bronnert, the British ambassador to Russia, was summoned to the foreign ministry this morning to see ‘evidence’ the UK helped attack the Nord Stream pipes and Black Sea Fleet
Protesters – who appeared to be stage-managed – carried banners reading ‘Britain is a terrorist state’ and ‘Britain will answer for the Nord Stream’
Bronnert arrived at Moscow’s towering Soviet-era foreign ministry building, with a line of people chanting ‘Britain is a terrorist state’, state media showed.
The foreign ministry said it had handed ‘concrete facts’ of London’s ‘hostile provocations’ to her.
‘A demand was put forward to stop them immediately,’ it said.
Moscow claimed UK military specialists were training Ukrainian special forces in the southern city of Ochakiv, ‘including training for underwater saboteurs for operations in the waters of the Black and Azov seas’.
Russia last week also accused the UK of being implicated in explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines in September.
The UK says these are ‘false claims on an epic scale.’
Western officials said on Wednesday that Russia’s increasingly wild allegations about nuclear weapons and sabotage attacks are a way to distract from its failing war.
The protests follow a frenzy of anti-British claims, while demands to retaliate against the UK have come from Russian officials and state TV.
The UK is being spuriously blamed for explosions in the Nord Stream gas pipelines and a drone attack on the naval port Sevastopol in annexed Crimea.
‘The UK ambassador will be summoned and will be given the appropriate materials,’ said foreign ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova a day ahead of the meeting.
The official alleged ‘the participation of British specialists in the preparation of Kyiv’s attacks’.
If anti-Putin protesters want to organise a demonstration in Moscow, it is almost impossible to get permission.
Close Putin crony Nikolai Patrushev – secretary of the Russian security council – repeated the allegations against Britain in a Moscow speech today.
‘According to the Russian defence ministry, representatives of the British naval forces took part in [the] planning and implementation [of attacks],’ he said.
‘It is impossible not to pay attention to the SMS message, which at that time British Prime Minister Liz Truss immediately reports to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken after the gas pipelines were blown up that ‘everything is done’.’
He claimed: ‘Literally from the first minutes after the reports of explosions on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, an active campaign was launched to accuse Russia.
‘However, it is obvious that the main beneficiary of these terrorist attacks is the United States.’
Ms Zakharova had accused Bronnert of ‘criminal hypocrisy’ in laying flowers at the Solovetsky Stone on the eve of the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression while Britain was supposedly involved in the drone attacks on the weekend.
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was targeted by drone boats over the weekend in an operation that Moscow said was orchestrated by British special forces
Smoke rises over Sevastopol – Russia’s main naval base in Crimea – after it was attacked by drones over the weekend
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