The UK is among a number of countries with military special forces operating inside Ukraine, according to leaked documents. The documents, some marked “top secret”, paint a detailed picture of the war in Ukraine, including sensitive details of Ukraine’s preparations for a spring counter-offensive.
The leaked files confirm what had been the subject of quiet speculation for over a year. According to the document, dated 23 March, the UK has the largest contingent of special forces in Ukraine (50), followed by fellow NATO states Latvia (17), France (15), the US (14) and the Netherlands (1). The document does not specify where the forces are located or what they are doing.
The US government is investigating the source of the leak. The UK Ministry of Defence has not commented on the matter, but in a tweet on Tuesday said the leak of alleged classified information had demonstrated a “serious level of inaccuracy”. The Ministry warned readers to be cautious about taking the allegations at face value, as they have the potential to spread misinformation. Pentagon officials have stated that the documents are real, though one document detailing casualties on both sides appears to have been doctored.
UK special forces are made up of several elite military units with distinct areas of expertise, and are regarded to be among the most capable in the world. The British government has a policy of not commenting on its special forces, in contrast to other countries including the US. The UK has been vociferous in its support of Ukraine, and is the second largest donor after the US of military aid to Kyiv.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the Department of Justice had opened a criminal investigation into the source of the leak. He said he was determined to find out who was responsible and the extent of the leak. Austin noted that it was important to investigate and turn over every rock until they found out who was behind it.
The leaked documents confirm that a number of countries, including the UK, have military special forces operating inside Ukraine. The documents provide a detailed picture of the war in Ukraine, including sensitive details of Ukraine’s preparations for a spring counter-offensive. The UK Ministry of Defence has not commented on the matter, but warned readers to be cautious about taking the allegations at face value. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has opened a criminal investigation into the source of the leak and is determined to find out who is responsible.