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Kremlin threatens UK diplomats could be targeted upon their return to Kyiv – World News


The threat was issued by Russia’s defence ministry after Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said the UK backed Ukrainian airstrikes on Russian infrastructure

Moscow has also warned it would be prepared to strike back at “decision-making centres” in Kyiv - even if Western diplomats were present
Moscow has also warned it would be prepared to strike back at “decision-making centres” in Kyiv – even if Western diplomats were present

UK diplomats based in Kyiv could be under threat upon their return to the city following a threat issued by Russia’s defence ministry.

Moscow last night warned it could target British diplomats returning to Ukraine’s capital, following “provocative” talks from a defence minister about bombing Russia.

The threat was issued by Russia’s defence ministry after Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said the UK backed Ukrainian airstrikes on Russian infrastructure, the Mail Online reports.

It would be “completely legitimate” for British weapons to be used in such attacks, he added, though none were currently thought to be.

Mr Heappey’s remarks were picked up by the Kremlin, and the minister has now been accused of “provocation”.

Moscow has also warned it would be prepared to strike back at “decision-making centres” in Kyiv in retaliation, even if British and other Western diplomats were present.







UK diplomats were evacuated from Kyiv around two months ago (file image)
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Image:

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The threat comes after Boris Johnson last week announced that Britain would reopen its embassy in Kyiv this week – “dependent” on the security situation.

Staff were evacuated some two months ago, after the war broke out.

The UK’s ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons, is poised to become one of the first diplomats to return.

A Kremlin spokesman responded to Mr Heappey’s support for Ukrainian attacks on Russian supply lines by saying the group would “like to underline” that London’s provocation of the Kyiv regime into such actions, if such actions were carried out, would lead to a “proportional response”.

“As we have warned, the Russian armed forces are in round-the-clock readiness to launch retaliatory strikes with high-precision long-range weapons at decision-making centres in Kyiv,” he said.

“The presence of advisers from Western countries in the Ukrainian decision-making centres won’t necessarily pose a problem for Russia in making a decision to launch retaliatory action.”

Speaking on Times Radio yesterday, Mr Heappey spoke of the UK’s “duty” to support any Ukrainian strikes on Russian infrastructure – which he said could prevent deaths of civilians.

Earlier this week fires broke out at two oil storage depots and a military facility in central Russia following a suspected strike by Ukraine.

The fires come after huge explosions at the Druzhba oil depots in Bryansk city – where Kremlin military units are located.

The Druzhba pipeline, operated by Transneft , is the world’s longest oil pipeline and one of the biggest oil pipeline networks in the world.

Ukraine had not admitted carrying out the attack.

Mr Heappey thought it was “certainly the case” that weapons given to Ukraine to the international community had the range to be used over the borders.

“But that’s not necessarily a problem. It is completely legitimate for Ukraine to be targeting in Russia’s depth in order to disrupt the logistics that if they weren’t disrupted would directly contribute to death and carnage on Ukrainian soil,” he said.

The minister also insisted that Ukraine still had the ability to win the war, if provided by the necessary equipment by the West.

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