Senior British General Reveals Hundreds of Royal Marines Began Fighting Russia in Ukraine in April

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On December 13 British Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Royal Marines Lieutenant General Robert Magowan revealed that the Marines had been carrying out high risk operations alongside Ukrainian government forces from April, shortly after the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian War in late February, marking the latest of several revelations of NATO member states actively deploying personnel against Russian forces. 300 personnel from the Royal Marines 45 Commando Group, a battalion formed during the Second World War, conducted unknown “discreet operations,” which Magowan stressed were carried out “in a hugely sensitive environment and with a high level of political and military risk.” The 45 Commando Group has seen combat in a range of theatres in the past, including participating in the British assault on Egypt in 1956 during the Suez Crisis, engaging Argentinian Forces during the Falklands War, and supporting U.S.-led coalition operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.

Confirmation that hundreds of British Royal Marines are operating in Ukraine is one of the most significant revelations regarding Western personnel’s contributions on the ground to Kiev’s war effort since the New York Times reported in June that a CIA ‘stealth network’ was at the crux of the war. The Times referred to the U.S. as establishing within Ukraine “a stealthy network of commandos and spies rushing to provide weapons, intelligence and training… C.I.A. personnel have continued to operate in the country secretly, mostly in the capital, Kiev, directing much of the massive amounts of intelligence the United States is sharing with Ukrainian forces.” The “signs of their stealthy logistics, training and intelligence support are tangible on the battlefield,” the Times observed. “Commandos from other NATO countries, including Britain, France, Canada and Lithuania, also have been working inside Ukraine… training and advising Ukrainian troops and providing an on-the-ground conduit for weapons and other aid,” it added, stressing the sheer “scale of the secretive effort to assist Ukraine that is underway.” Arms shipments from NATO members to Ukraine have amounted to tens of billions of dollars worth since February, while Western satellites, surveillance aircraft, advisors, volunteer combatants, and even military contractors, have played very central roles in allowing the country to hold its own against Russian forces. 


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