Confidential defense manuscripts comprising details about HMS Defender and the military, summarizing the activities of a warship that led to Russia firing warning shots off the Crimean coast, have been found at a bus stop, provoking an inquiry from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The Ministry of Defense said an employee informed them last week that the copies had been misplaced. “It shouldn’t be able to happen,” Brandon Lewis, minister for Northern Ireland, told Sky News on Sunday.
Confidential manuscripts details:
The confidential manuscripts entailed proposals for a probable U.K. military existence in Afghanistan, as well as a meeting about the likely Russian response to the HMS Defender’s, British warship, travel through waters off the Crimean shore last week.
An unnamed member of the public contacted BBC when he found the bundle of 50 pages of classified documents in a heap behind a bus stop in Kent.
Britain was unexpectedly bogged down in a prudent and military dispute with Russia after the Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer, HMS Defender, briefly passed through territorial waters off the coast of the disputed area of Crimea. The manuscripts confirm that a mission- described by the MoD as an “innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters” was performed with the intention that the Kremlin might respond aggressively.
On Wednesday more than 20 Russian aircraft and two coastguard vessels clouded over the warship as it sailed about 12 miles off Crimea’s coast. Moscow’s defence ministry said a scout ship ousted warning shots and a jet dropped bombs in the defacer’s direction. The UK government refute any warning shots that had been fired.
A series of slides indicates two routeing options, one described as “a safe and professional direct transit from Odesa to Batumi”, including a short stretch through a “Traffic Separation Scheme” (TSS) close to the south-west tip of Crimea.
This route would deliver an opportunity to engage with the Ukrainian government. Three possible Russian reactions were established, from “safe and professional” to “neither safe nor professional.” In case, Russia prefers to respond aggressively, with radio alarms, coastguard ships nearing within 100 meters and reiterated whir by warplanes, an alternative route was considered which would have kept HMS Defender adequately away from contested waters.
One document marked as “Secret UK Eyes Only”, outlines highly sensitive suggestions for the UK’s military imprint in Afghanistan, the Nato operation currently wrapping up in the wake of President Biden’s ruling to evacuate American forces. The document discusses an American petition for British aid in several distinct areas and deals with the question of whether any British special forces will remain in Afghanistan once the exit is completed.
Police are reportedly putting up with the investigation, and the bureaucrat behind the leak could confront prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.
The BBC, which initially received the documents, said they believe it came from the office of a senior official at the Ministry of Defence. According to The Times, a prime official is being interrogated by police.