- Title: Classified UK defence documents found at bus stop in England, says BBC
- Date: 27th June 2021
- Summary: BATUMI, GEORGIA (JUNE 26, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BRITISH DESTROYER HMS DEFENDER SAILING TO BATUMI PORT FLAGS, WOMAN SWEEPING CARPET VESSEL TURNING NAVY ONBOARD LOOKING AT SHORE VESSEL NAVY THROWING ROPE MEN ON SHORE HOLDING ROPE NAVY LOOKING FROM SHIP PEOPLE WALKING ONBOARD/ SIGN READING 'HMS DEFENDER. ROYAL NAVY (English) ON SIDE OF STEPS
- Embargoed: 11th July 2021 12:37
- Keywords: Britain Crimea Defender England Kent Russia Ukraine bus stop documents warship
- Location: AT SEA/ INTERNET/BATUMI, GEORGIA
- City: AT SEA/ INTERNET/BATUMI, GEORGIA
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Europe,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003EJ6F41Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Classified documents from Britain's defence ministry containing details about a British warship and Russia's potential reaction to its passage through the Black Sea have been found at a bus stop in southern England, the BBC reported on Sunday (June 27).
The BBC said the documents, almost 50 pages in all, were found "in a soggy heap behind a bus stop in Kent early on Tuesday morning" by a member of the public, who wanted to remain anonymous.
The Ministry of Defence said it had been informed last week of "an incident in which sensitive defence papers were recovered by a member of the public".
"The department takes the security of information extremely seriously and an investigation has been launched. The employee concerned reported the loss at the time. It would be inappropriate to comment further," a spokesperson said.
The BBC reported that the documents, which included emails and PowerPoint presentations, related to British warship Defender, which last week sailed through waters off the Crimean peninsula which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Russia said on Wednesday (June 23) it had fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of the ship to chase it out of what the Kremlin says are its territorial waters but which Britain and most of the world say belong to Ukraine.
It later summoned the British ambassador in Moscow for a formal diplomatic scolding over what it described as a provocation.
Britain rejected Russia's account of the incident. It said it believed any shots fired were a pre-announced Russian "gunnery exercise", and that no bombs had been dropped.
It confirmed the destroyer had sailed through what it said were Ukrainian waters, describing its path as "innocent passage" in accordance with international law of the sea.
The BBC said the documents suggested the ship's mission was conducted in the expectation that Russia might respond aggressively.
(Production: Paul Warren)
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