Classified documents found at Kent bus stop hint at reality of UK military strategy

HMS Defender

Secret military documents found at a Kent bus stop show us how British foreign policy works. The papers were reportedly found by a member of the public and then ended up with the BBC.

The documents contained important details of a naval confrontation between Russian forces and a UK warship. And an investigation is being conducted into their loss. The documents provide a brief snapshot of the UK’s international conduct and also ask serious questions about it.

Crimea clash

On 23 June, the destroyer HMS Defender passed close to waters claimed by Russia. The ship had left Odessa, where UK defence firms had signed a deal with Ukraine to build military bases and supply patrol ships.

Aboard were BBC journalists. Defender found itself ‘buzzed’ by Russian aircraft and ships. The journalists filmed the events. And the entire incident was framed as one of Russian aggression.

However, the surprise discovery of the papers turns the UK narrative on its head.


Among the details revealed by the BBC after receiving the documents were plans for the Crimean mission, dubbed Op [Operation] DitroIte. And the BBC‘s reporting appears to show officials discussing possible outcomes of the ship’s passage. Their comments suggest that the UK sought an aggressive reaction from Russia.

A Powerpoint slide in the files shows two possible routes. One was close to Crimea and likely to attract what officials term a “welcoming party”. But the other did not pass through contested waters.

Read on...

The BBC reported:

Alongside the military planning, officials anticipated competing versions of events.

We have a strong, legitimate narrative”, they said, noting that the presence of the embedded journalists (from the BBC and Daily Mail) on board the destroyer “provides an option for independent verification of HMS Defender’s action.

Arms exports

The documents contained details of arms exports.

The BBC was cagey about what it disclosed. On the arms exports its says:

The bundle includes updates on arms exports campaigns, including sensitive observations about areas where Britain might find itself competing with European allies.

The shadow war

The files also suggested that high-level discussions were underway about Afghanistan troop deployments after withdrawal this year.

Because the US appears to have requested UK special forces troops stay in the country after withdrawal in 2021. The BBC reported few details, saying they could endanger lives.

The files acknowledged great danger to any troops who remain, for instance:

“Any UK footprint in Afghanistan that persists… is assessed to be vulnerable to targeting by a complex network of actors,” it says, noting that “the option to withdraw completely remains.”


Naturally, the BBC released very little about the files.

And it appears the Crimea incident was stage-managed at the British end to shape public perceptions. So it seems quite likely the BBC were onboard to report the UK narrative.

These files may only represent a snapshot. But subjected to stage-managed events like Crimea, it’s no wonder the public can’t easily understand Britain’s role in the world. Moreover, serious questions need to be asked about how the UK media works with the UK military.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/Royal Navy

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  • Show Comments
    1. It is obvious to everyone that the BBC and Daily Mail are in the pocket of The Chumocracy and their ever supportive narrative is simply to keep the cash flow arriving. It is a surprise that staff from The Sun and The Telegraph weren’t there either.

      1. The “Torygraph” hacks were probably too pissed to read the invitation, and the Wapping Liar hacks probably couldn’t read it even when they are sober;
        “Duh, There’s one of those paper things here, what do you call it?…..”
        “A letter?”
        Difficult to read a letter when your knuckles scrape the ground…..

    2. This stage managed event by the arms industry’s puppet MoD dept. illustrates how far they will go to obey their Pentagon master. I expect UKania’s state run propaganda dept. had a hand in planning the event, too.
      Their on-board toadies are the give away.

    3. Russia has gotten wise. Might have something to do with the several false flags in recent years, from OKing the Saudis supplying Syrian jihadis with chemical weapons, and then blaming the Syrian govt for the attacks. To attacking the Skripals with VX, and then blaming Russia for Novichok when the symptoms are entirely different. To funding a violent coup in Kiev to the tune of $Bns, and then blaming Russia for supporting ‘separatists’ who refused to accept being ruled by open neonazi fascists.

      Let alone the Iraqi ‘WMDs’, the Libyan ‘massacres’, the Talibans ‘protection of OBL’, Venezualen ‘Incorrect election results and President’, and on and on and on and on and on.

      WE are the ‘bad guys’.

      That’s not to say Russians or Putin are angels, lmfao.

      Often reality is more complex than black/white.

      Shame the RN sailors didn’t abandon ship, and then inform Moscow there was a sitting duck with arseholes onboard.

    4. What this incident proved is that:
      Russia is not as easily provoked as Argentina (fortunately, since Argentina did not possess nuclear weapons),
      And, our nuclear weapons are in the hands of people who can’t spell the word “Detroit”
      All together now, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh!!!!!!”

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