On Saturday, Russia’s top investigative authority said it was checking into a Russian media allegation that the SAS had been dispatched to the Lviv region of Western Ukraine.
Russia said it is looking into whether the Special Air Service (SAS) of the United Kingdom has sent sabotage specialists to western Ukraine.
The Russian probe was met with silence from the British Ministry of Defence.
Earlier this year, the United Kingdom dispatched military trainers to Ukraine to teach local forces on how to use anti-tank weaponry.
The UK said on February 17, a week before Russia’s invasion, that all soldiers except those needed to defend its ambassador had been pulled out.
According to Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency, some 20 members of the SAS – an elite military squad specialized in special operations, surveillance, and counterterrorism – are now active in ukraine.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement that it will investigate the claim that the SAS was deployed “to assist the Ukrainian special services in organizing sabotage on the territory of Ukraine.”
Ever since the war began, the United Kingdom has supplied Ukraine with anti-ship, anti-aircraft, and light anti-tank weaponry, which have shown to be effective against Russia’s armoured vehicles by mobile Ukrainian fighters.
For the first time since the Russian invasion, the British government announced this week that a limited number of Ukrainian forces are being trained in the UK.
The forces began training this month using armoured patrol vehicles given by the United Kingdom, according to a spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
According to the spokesman, the UK is delivering new sorts of equipment to Ukrainian military, which they may not have used previously, in collaboration with its allies.
“It is only sensible that they get requisite training to make best use of it,” the spokesman said.
“We are always conscious of anything perceived to be escalatory but clearly what is escalatory is the actions of [Vladimir] Putin’s regime.”
Additionally, members of the Ukrainian administration visited a military base on the UK’s Salisbury Plain in April, where they were given equipment demonstrations and discussed how the government may deliver weapons to Ukraine.
Since the invasion of Crimea in 2014, the UK military has been training Ukrainian soldiers.
They were removed in February to prevent a direct confrontation with Russian soldiers and the risk of NATO becoming involved.
Similarly, the US military is also teaching Ukrainian forces how to operate howitzer artillery, while the UK is teaching Ukrainians to use anti-aircraft weaponry in Poland.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES