Russia is investigating a media report on the presence of British special forces SAS in Ukraine

LONDON (Reuters) – Russia’s top government investigative body said on Saturday it was investigating a Russian media report alleging the deployment of British SAS sabotage experts in western Ukraine.

The Special Air Service is an elite military force trained in special operations, surveillance, and counter-terrorism. On Saturday, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency quoted a Russian security source as saying that about 20 members of the special forces had been sent to the Lviv region.

The investigative committee said in a statement that it would follow up on the report that they were sent “to help the Ukrainian special services organize acts of sabotage on the territory of Ukraine.”

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A British Ministry of Defense spokesman said: “We do not comment on Special Forces.”

Britain said it sent military trainers to Ukraine earlier this year to instruct local forces to use anti-tank weapons, but the British government said on February 17 – a week before the Russian invasion – it had withdrawn all but the troops needed to protect its army. Ambassador.

It was not clear what steps the investigative committee intended to take in response to any SAS involvement in Ukraine. But the fact of investigating the possible presence of troops from one of the NATO countries is important, given that Russia issued warnings to the West not to impede its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

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(Reporting by Mark Trevelyan), Additional Editing by William James, Editing by Timothy Heritage

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