Three former British special forces soldiers are believed to be among those who died during a Russian airstrike on a Ukrainian base near the Polish border. The British foreign office has launched a probe into the reports.
The strikes were carried out on the Yavoriv base in western Ukraine by the Russian forces on Sunday.
Britons Were Not Part of Foreign Fighters
Citing sources, the Daily Mirror reported that the three British ex-special forces troops died instantly in the cruise missile blasts. While claiming that the three slain soldiers were not part of the foreign fighters who have joined the war against Russia, the sources said that it wasn't clear which branch of British special forces had they served previously.
The outlet further reported that the information of the Ukrainian base was leaked by Russian spies following which the precise attack was carried out on Sunday. Investigations are being carried out by the intelligence agencies to ascertain if an 'insider' claiming to be a foreign recruit for the war torn country was passing information to the Russian agencies at the Yavoriv base.
"Ukrainian and western intelligence agencies believe Russian GRU and SVR spy agencies had "turned" foreign fighters on the base," read the outlet's report.
Just moments before the strike, a man was seen running away from the ill-fated base while carrying a laptop shaped object.
Probe Launched by British Agencies
Speaking to the Mirror, a sources said: "There were many more killed within the site than has been claimed and bodies are still being found. I do not believe the three British ex-military personnel would have known anything about it, fortunately. This is extremely sensitive as there are believed to be no serving British military personnel inside Ukraine as politically that would be extremely controversial."
The Evening Standard reported that following the reports the Foreign office launched an urgent investigation. Confirming that the soldiers were not part of the Ukraine's foreign fighters unit, which was being trained at the base.
Even though Ukraine did not disclose the number of people who died during the attack, the Russian defence ministry claims to have killed 180 "foreign mercenaries" during the airstrike.