Confidential Ministry of Defense documents containing details of the Royal Navy’s operations in the dispute with Russia last week were discovered at a bus stop in Kent.
Last week, a member of the public found a treasure trove of nearly 50 pages of papers, he said Pass them to the BBCThe Department of Defense confirmed that the loss of the file was reported by an employee at the time, and the department has now launched an investigation into the security breach.
This discovery came about when British military operations were under special scrutiny.The British destroyer HMS Defender crossed disputed waters off the Crimean coast on Wednesday, triggering Strong opposition from Moscow.
Russia sent 20 planes and two Coast Guard ships to warn British ships to stay away from the waters it has claimed since its annexation of Crimea seven years ago. The Russian Ministry of Defense stated that it had fired warning shots on the British destroyer and dropped bombs on its path, but the British denied this statement.
According to the BBC report, the document lists two potential routes for HMS Defender from Ukraine to Georgia. One route was described as a “safe and professional direct transit from Odessa to Batumi” and included a short journey through the “traffic isolation plan” near the southwestern tip of Crimea.
The document stated that this route would “provide opportunities for contact with the Ukrainian government… within Ukrainian territorial waters recognized by the United Kingdom.”
These documents then listed a series of potential Russian responses, ranging from “safe and professional” to “neither safe nor professional.”
Other documents that are more sensitive and labeled “Secretly Viewed by the UK Only” discuss plans for a possible British presence in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the US-led NATO operation, which will be completed in September.
Although the BBC stated that it has prevented the release of details that may endanger the security of the United Kingdom and the Allied forces, the documents reportedly resolve the issue of whether there will be any British special forces remaining in Afghanistan after the withdrawal is completed.
“Any British footprint in Afghanistan persists… is assessed to be vulnerable to a sophisticated network of participants,” the document reads, adding that “the option to withdraw completely still exists.”
In response to the discovery of these documents, the Ministry of Defense stated that it “takes extremely seriously” information security and has launched an investigation. “The employee concerned reported the loss at the time. Further comments are inappropriate,” it said.
Regarding the disclosure of the specific details of HMS Defender, the Ministry of Defense stated that “as the public expects, carefully planned.”
“As a routine procedure, this includes the analysis of all potential factors affecting operational decisions,” it added.
But John Healy, the shadow defense minister of the Labor Party, said the violation was “embarrassing and worrying for ministers.”
“It is crucial that the internal investigation initiated by the Secretary of State immediately determined how the highly classified documents were taken from the Department of Defense and then left in this way,” Healy said.
“Ultimately, ministers must be able to confirm to the public that national security has not been compromised, that no military or security operations have been affected, and that appropriate procedures have been established to ensure that similar things do not happen again.”