Day 413 of the Invasion of Ukraine: British Commandos have allegedly Operated in Ukraine

Ukraine | April 12, 2023, Wednesday // 11:23|  views

Day 413 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:

  • British commandos have allegedly operated in Ukraine
  • Serbian defense minister denies Serbia has sold or intends to sell arms to Ukraine
  • Russia has launched an intercontinental ballistic missile
  • Prigozhin announced that "Wagner" controlled most of Bakhmut
  • British intelligence: Russia is waiting for the VSU offensive to hit Melitopol
  • Blinken: US will stand with Ukraine "as long as it takes"

British commandos have allegedly operated in Ukraine

Leaked American documents give reason to believe that up to 50 representatives of the British special operations forces operated in Ukraine in February and March of this year, writes the Guardian.

The British edition points out that the documents give the impression that representatives of the special operations forces of various Western countries were operating in Ukraine during these months. Leaked documents indicate that more than half of these representatives may have been British.

It is unclear what activities the commandos may have been involved in and whether their numbers are currently the same.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, the British government has not disclosed information that special forces soldiers may have been operating in Ukraine. However, in June 2021, the British Embassy in Kyiv said that British special forces had conducted joint training activities with Ukrainian forces.

The British Ministry of Defense refused to comment on the revelations and to answer questions about the possible presence of British military personnel in Ukraine in recent months. However, the ministry said in a post on Twitter that there were serious inaccuracies in the leaked documents.

The documents, the authenticity of which has not been confirmed and which suggest the presence of British military personnel in Ukraine, are part of a batch of leaked US intelligence documents that were published on the social platform Discord. The source of the documents remains unknown at this time, the Guardian notes.

Serbian defense minister denies Serbia has sold or intends to sell arms to Ukraine

The Minister of Defense of Serbia, Milos Vucevic, today denied information from the British agency Reuters that, according to leaked Pentagon documents, Serbia has sold or intends to sell weapons to Ukraine. He emphasized that "Serbia has neither sold nor will sell weapons to the Ukrainian or Russian side, nor to countries close to this conflict," Tanjug reported.

"Someone's goal is obviously to destabilize our country and drag it into a conflict we don't want to be involved in. We consistently stick to our established policy," Vucevic told Tanjug.

The minister noted that for the umpteenth time the lie is being published that Serbia is selling weapons to Ukraine. "We have rejected these falsehoods more than ten times, and here we are going to do it again. Serbia has not sold, nor will it sell weapons to the Ukrainian or Russian side, or to the countries surrounding this conflict," Vucevic said.

The minister also stated that the country, of course, sells weapons to third countries that are far from the conflict and have nothing to do with it.

"There is always a possibility that some weapon will magically end up on the territory of the conflict, but this has absolutely nothing to do with Serbia. This is a matter for those countries that do not respect international norms, contractual clauses and business practices. I repeat, Serbia does not has not been sending arms to Ukraine and everything that has been published on this topic is false speculation," said Vucevic.

This morning, Reuters published the purported contents of a leaked classified Pentagon document, which states that Serbia has agreed to supply weapons to Kyiv or has already sent them. According to the British agency, the document is marked "secret" and NOFORN, meaning sharing it with foreign intelligence services and armies is prohibited. The document also claims that Serbia has the "political will and military capacity" to provide arms to Ukraine in the future.

Russia has launched an intercontinental ballistic missile

Russia successfully launched an intercontinental ballistic missile from a site in the southern part of the country, the Ministry of Defense announced early this morning, issuing a new warning to its enemies, DPA reported, quoted by BTA.

The long-range missile was launched from the Kapustin Yar range in the Astrakhan region on the Caspian Sea coast.

The test warhead later hit a target in the allied country of Kazakhstan as planned, the ministry said, adding that the aim was to test the missile's "combat capability".

Russia has been shelling neighboring Ukraine with missiles for more than 13 months. At the same time, Moscow's military rhetoric towards the West has escalated, even raising the grim prospect of a nuclear war, DPA recalls.

The Kremlin recently caused a stir with its announcement that it would deploy tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus. These weapons have a shorter range than intercontinental ballistic missiles, which can travel more than 5,000 km.

Prigozhin announced that "Wagner" controlled most of Bakhmut

The head of Russia's “Wagner” mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said last night that his forces controlled more than 80 percent of the devastated eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, after some of the heaviest and bloodiest fighting of the war, Reuters reported.

Senior Ukrainian military officials did not respond directly, but said their forces were holding firm in the city, which once had a population of 70,000.

Wagner's fighters spearheaded Russia's months-long effort to capture Bakhmut. The grueling trench warfare and constant artillery barrages have drawn comparisons to the First World War because of the enormous sacrifices made by both sides.

Prigozhin stated that his forces, which were playing an important role in the Russian advance in the east, continued to encircle Bakhmut. "In Bakhmut, the majority, more than 80 percent, is already under our control, including the entire administrative center, factories, warehouses, the city administration," he said in a video posted by a Russian military blogger.

Serhiy Cherevatiy, a spokesman for Ukraine's Eastern Military Command, said the situation in Bakhmut was under control, adding that Kyiv would not allow its troops to be encircled.

British intelligence: Russia is waiting for the VSU offensive to hit Melitopol

The Russian occupation forces continue to make great efforts to improve their defensive line in the Zaporizhzhia region. This area is under the responsibility of Russia's Southern Group of Forces. This is stated in a new report by British intelligence.

It notes that so far Russian troops have completed the construction of three lines of defense zones with a length of about 120 km in this sector.

"They consist of a first line of resistance, after which there are two zones of almost continuous, more complex defense. Each zone is located 10-20 km behind each other," revealed military analysts in London.

British intelligence says that the Russian Federation has put a lot of effort into these defense facilities "because it is convinced that Ukraine is considering an attack on the city of Melitopol".

"Defensive installations have the potential to be a serious deterrent, but their usefulness depends almost entirely on whether they are supported by sufficient artillery and personnel. It remains unclear whether the Russians can muster these resources now," British intelligence said.

As of March 1, 2022, Melitopol is under Russian occupation. However, there is a strong resistance movement in the city against the Russian invaders, and Russian bases are constantly blown up there. On April 9, the Ukrainian mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, said that in two weeks, more than 15 military bases of the Russian occupiers were destroyed in the temporarily occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region.

Blinken: US will stand with Ukraine "as long as it takes"

United States State Secretary Antony Blinken has spoken with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and reiterated Washington's commitment to stand with Kyiv" for as long as it takes," the US State Department said.

"Secretary Blinken underscored Ukraine's success as vital to peace and security in Europe and reiterated the United States' commitment to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes," said Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel in a statement on Tuesday (local time). The two leaders discussed ongoing preparations for Ukraine's spring counteroffensive, including security assistance pledges from allies and partners, said Patel.

Taking to Twitter, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister also shared the same information, "During our call today, @SecBlinken reaffirmed the ironclad U.S. support and vehemently rejected any attempts to cast doubt on Ukraine's capacity to win on the battlefield. The U.S. remains Ukraine's trustworthy partner, focused on advancing our victory and securing a just peace."

The US has been helping Ukraine since Russia started its special military operation on February 24, 2022.

Last month, the US said that they will send Ukraine USD 350 million in weapons and equipment as the battle with Russian forces continues for control of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

"Today, pursuant to a delegation of authority from President Biden, I am authorizing our 34th drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment for Ukraine valued at USD 350 million," said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement issued by the US State Department on Monday.

"This military assistance package includes more ammunition for US-provided HIMARS and howitzers that Ukraine is using to defend itself, as well as ammunition for Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, HARM missiles, anti-tank weapons, riverine boats, and other equipment," the statement read.

The US applauds the more than 50 countries that have come together to provide support for Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the statement read.

"This week, as Russia's unconscionable war of aggression against Ukraine continues at a great human cost, we are again reminded of the boundless courage and steadfast resolve of the Ukrainian people, and the strong support for Ukraine across the international community," Blinken said.

He added: "Russia alone could end its war today. Until Russia does, we will stand united with Ukraine for as long as it takes."

Meanwhile, in February, the US announced a new security package plan, including authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance valued at upto USD 425 million, as well as USD 1.75 billion in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funds, according to the statement released by US Defence Department.

The package pulled USD 425 million from existing Defence Department stocks, and USD 1.75 billion in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds. The new package marks USD 29.3 billion provided to Ukraine since Russia's started its military operation last February.

Novinite is still the only Bulgarian media that publishes a summary of events and highlights related to the conflict, every single day. Our coverage began on day one - 24.02.2022 and will not stop until the war has concluded. Despite the pressure, our independent media will continue to provide its readers with accurate and up-to-date information. Thank you for your support! #stayinformed

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Tags: british, Ukraine, Russia, Bakhmut


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