AWOL British soldiers fighting in Ukraine will be prosecuted, warns Ben Wallace

It is claimed that a number of soldiers who have expressed their intention to travel have been identified and persuaded against the idea in interviews with their chain of command.

Last week Lieutenant General James Swift, the Chief of Defence People, issued a directive down the chain of command to all personnel against going to Ukraine.

This was done “in concert” with the discovery of the teenage Coldstream Guardsman’s departure, it is understood.

It came after Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, expressed her support for UK volunteers heading to fight for Kyiv, saying she “absolutely” backed Britons who wanted to join the Ukrainians’ “struggle”.

“That is something people can make their own decisions about. The people of Ukraine are fighting for freedom and democracy, not just for Ukraine but for the whole of Europe,” she said last month.

Liz Truss backtracks

On Wednesday she backtracked on the idea, insisting: “The travel advice from the United Kingdom is not to go to Ukraine… There are better ways of helping the efforts in Ukraine, namely donating to the (DEC) appeal.”

Ms Truss said her previous remarks had meant only to express support for the Ukrainian cause and make clear that those fighting in self-defence were engaging in a just war.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of the Defence Staff, had issued a rebuke to Ms Truss at the weekend, declaring: “We’ve been very clear that it’s unlawful as well as unhelpful for UK military and for the UK population to start going towards Ukraine in that sense.”

He added: “Support from the UK, support in whatever way you can. But this isn’t really something that you want to rush to in terms of the sound of gunfire. This is about sensible support based in the UK.”

Any personnel found to have gone AWOL may be subject to disciplinary and administrative punishment by the military, but are judged on a case-by-case basis.

Army insiders pointed out that some reservists may have had legitimate work reasons to have been in Ukraine when the invasion erupted.

Boost defence spending

It is not illegal for troops on leave to travel to eastern European countries such as Poland to help with humanitarian efforts.

Ms Truss warned on Wednesday that the West had not “spent enough on defence for a number of years and we have seen a buildup of military capability from Russia in terms of both technology and numbers”.

In the US to meet with her American counterpart Antony Blinken, Ms Truss suggested that in addition to conventional defence, the UK needed to “step up our efforts in areas like information”.

She added: “The UK abandoned its information unit at the end of the Cold War and the Russians didn’t abandon their information unit.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesman 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.”

Related Posts

zelenskyi told how many settlements have already been liberated by

Zelenskyi told how many settlements have already been liberated by the Armed Forces of Ukraine and how many still remain

The President stressed that Ukraine has no right to leave any of its people in Russian occupation and Russian infiltration camps. Zelensky called the war in Ukraine…

caught in a landmine trap a group of policemen was

Caught in a landmine trap: a group of policemen was blown up in the Kherson region (photo)

Four more police officers are in the hospital. Doctors are fighting for their lives. A group of policemen died in Kherson Oblast \ photo by In the…

it is absolutely impossible to raise the tariff for the

It is absolutely impossible to raise the tariff for the transmission and dispatch of electricity during the war – the head of the association of entrepreneurs

Illustration by REUTERS The increase in tariffs for transmission and dispatching of electricity, which is initiated by the energy regulator NERCU, will be a devastating blow to…

in odesa district water supply has been restored in almost

In Odesa district, water supply has been restored in almost all communities

The water disappeared in the area due to a rocket strike by the enemy on December 5. Water was given in Odesa district / photo Water supply…

the pope compared the actions of the kremlin in ukraine

The Pope compared the actions of the Kremlin in Ukraine with the actions of Nazi Germany

He emphasized that history is repeating itself today. The Pope again mentioned the war in Ukraine photo by REUTERS During the general audience, Pope Francis again recalled…

after the war the border regions of the russian federation

After the war, the border regions of the Russian Federation – Podolyak will be demilitarized

According to him, there will be a convention war, which Russia will lose. The Armed Forces will push the Russian invaders 100 km from the borders of…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *