Ukraine: Former soldier fumes at 'leak' of British information
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Caller Derek said he sympathised with the young Brits who fled the UK to join up with the Ukrainian forces against Russia as it appeared one of the men involved was a Queen’s Guard operating on parades. Derek reflected on his own time serving and said soldiers wanted to have a go at Russia as they had been a lingering threat during the height of the Cold War many years ago. But the caller was concerned at how the news broke, arguing it would now become a tool used by Putin to legitimise further military action by claiming the British Army is operating in Ukraine.
Speaking to Jeremy Vine, Derek discussed the story of four British soldiers going AWOL and the wider ramifications of the news.
He told the show: “As an ex-soldier myself, I joined up in 75′ and left in 92′ and we used to train basically for the Cold War.
“We used to look at Russia as like an itch you can’t scratch, now, serving soldiers today, obviously, they have their orders.
“Now these four young lads, the first thing I’m going to ask is who leaked the information about these four young lads going to Ukraine because, as you know, the Russians, they pick up on our media.
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“Putin is going to say, right, British got troops on the floor now then others say how many but they’re going to exaggerate the numbers.
“You’ve got Truss saying yes, you can go over and fight if you wish, I can understand ex-servicemen wanting to go over because it’s an opportunity for them to have a crack at the Russians and help out Ukraine.
“But at the same time, you’ve got serving soldiers now who would love to go over there and have a crack.”
Mr Vine said one of the four Brits who went over was “sick of serving in a bearskin hat” as he was part of the Queen’s Guard.
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Derek sympathised with him and said when people join the Army they want to “go abroad and fight in conflicts”.
He felt sorry for the young man who had grown frustrated with performing on parade squares.
The Ministry of Defence is scrambling to bring back the soldiers before they arrive in Ukraine and it is believed they may be in Poland.
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UK volunteers have gone over to the country to help in the Ukraine foreign legion but these range from former servicemen to those with no combat experience at all.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she would support UK citizens going over to Ukraine to help out but the Government has sought to put down the comments.
Currently, UK travel advice says people should not go to Ukraine with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace telling Sky News the volunteers could cause more damage than aid.
In a statement, an MoD spokesperson said: “All Service Personnel are prohibited from travelling to Ukraine until further notice.“
“This applies whether the Service Person is on leave or not.
“Personnel travelling to Ukraine will face disciplinary and administrative consequences.”
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