For more than a year, there has been quiet speculation about the presence of Western special forces in Ukraine. But it was never confirmed until now.
The US Department of Defense is still dealing with the fallout from one of the largest leaks of classified material in recent years, the majority of which was related to the Ukraine war.
The classified documents paint a detailed picture of the war, including highly sensitive details about Ukraine’s preparations for a spring counter-offensive against Russian forces.
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One document has piqued the public’s interest.
According to the report, the United Kingdom is one of several countries with special forces operating in Ukraine. The United Kingdom has the largest contingent (50), followed by Latvia (17), France (15), the United States (14) and the Netherlands (1).
The document makes no mention of where the forces are or what they are doing.
Personnel numbers may be small and will undoubtedly fluctuate. However, special forces are, by definition, highly effective. Their presence in Ukraine is likely to be exploited by Moscow, which has recently claimed that it is not only confronting Ukraine, but also Nato.
The UK Ministry of Defence has not commented, as is its standard policy on such matters, but in a tweet on Tuesday, it said the leak of alleged classified information demonstrated a “serious level of inaccuracy.”
“Readers should be cautious about accepting allegations at face value that have the potential to spread misinformation,” it said.
It didn’t go into detail or specify which documents it was referring to. According to Pentagon officials, the documents are authentic.
One document, which detailed the number of casualties on both sides in Ukraine, appeared to have been doctored.
The United Kingdom’s special forces are comprised of several elite military units with distinct areas of expertise, and they are widely regarded as among the most capable in the world.
In contrast to other countries, including the United States, the British government has a policy of not commenting on its special forces.
The United Kingdom has been vocal in its support for Ukraine, and is the second largest donor of military aid to Kiev after the United States.