- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

Brit Squaddie in Queen’s Guard Faces Jail After AWOL 'Volunteer' Trip to Ukraine

© REUTERS / HENRY NICHOLLS / Members of the Coldstream Guards run through St James's Park during a training exercise, in LondonMembers of the Coldstream Guards run through St James's Park during a training exercise, in London
Members of the Coldstream Guards run through St James's Park during a training exercise, in London - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.03.2022
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the chief the British armed forces, has warned serving soldiers could be court-martialled if they desert their posts to fight for the Ukrainian 'Foreign Legion' — after the foreign secretary encouraged citizens to go.
A teenage soldier in the UK's royal guards has been questioned by officers after returning from Ukraine, where he went to fight against Russian forces.
The un-named 19-year-old went absent without leave (AWOL) from the elite Coldstream Guards regiment barracks in Windsor to join the Ukrainian "Foreign Legion" two weeks ago.
British newspaper The Sun on Sunday reported he had returned to the UK via Poland after contacting senior officers from Ukraine.

“The Guardsman seems to have seen the error of his ways while he was in Ukraine and everyone is hugely relieved about that," and armed forces source told the newspaper. “He was urged by people out there to do the right thing and head home."

“He was in touch with his chain of command, who told him that he had to return," the source added. “He knew he would be in trouble but was also told in no uncertain terms that it would be worse the longer he stayed out there.”
The squaddie was taken in for questioning by military police on arrival, but was not detained and has been allowed to go home to his family in the north of England. But the Sun reported that he is now likely to face a court-martial trial.
UK Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin recently warned it is “unlawful” for serving troops to go and fight in another country's army. The Sun also claimed the chiefs of staff are worried that if British soldiers are taken prisoner, Russia could claim the UK is intervening directly in the conflict.
But early in the conflict Foreign Secretary Liz Truss encouraged Brits to go and fight against the Russian "de-Nazification" campaign in Ukraine.
But it also emerged that the young soldier had been one of some 1,000 foreign recruits at the NATO-built training training camp at Yavorov, 12 miles from the Polish border, that was destroyed in a Russian long-range missile strike last week.
Kiev admitted to only 35 Ukrainian troops killed in the attack, but the Russian Ministry of Defence claims 180 "foreign mercenaries" died — and some informal sources say the toll has since risen higher.
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A British ex-serviceman who also joined the Ukrainian foreign legion said he met the teenage soldier at Yavorov.
"The Coldstream Guard was very open about the fact he was still serving," he said. “He said he had been to the Falklands for six months, but was bored in the UK and wanted to see some action and use his training."
"He had told the Ukrainians at the base he had combat experience, as they separate the volunteers into those with and without experience."
"At first, he had no intention of returning to the UK but people told him he should and that he was in trouble as going AWOL is a serious offence," the older volunteer related.
"I don’t know if he told them he was leaving, but I think he had help from people over there to travel back over the Polish border. Myself and other British people told him he should return, so in the end he has obviously listened."
Several former British servicemen are known to have signed up to fight in Ukraine — for wages of just 7,000 hryvnia (£180) per month — including Ben Grant, a former Royal Marine and son of Conservative MP for Maidstone and The Weald Helen Grant.
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