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Royal Marines have taken part in covert operations in Ukraine as Russia's war wages on, a source for the British armed forces has admitted.
Lieutenant General Robert Magowan is the first official to admit to the covert operations that have previously taken place in Ukraine under British leadership.
The former commandant general of the Royal Marines made it clear these "discreet operations" were of a "hugely sensitive environment" and that the missions carried "a high level of political and military risk".
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It would appear 350 marines – part of the 45 Commando unit – were sent to escort diplomats and Government workers from the British embassy.
Official publications showed commandos were responsible for evacuating the British Embassy at the start of this year as well as a push to protect the embassy re-established in April.
Although the Ministry of Defence had acknowledged the British military presence earlier in the year, Lt. Gen. Magowan's comments are the first to be made on so-called "special operations".
Writing in the official Royal Marines publication, Globe and Laurel, Magowan wrote of a "hugely sensitive environment" from which a group of commandos engaged with.
He wrote: "In January this year, 45 Commando Group deployed at short notice – from the depths of a dark, north Norwegian winter, to evacuate the British embassy in Kyiv to Poland. The go-to 999 international emergency force, if you will."
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Lt. Gen. Magowan continued: "Then in April, they returned into the country to re-establish the diplomatic mission, providing protection to critical personnel.
"During both phases, the commandos supported other discreet operations in a hugely sensitive environment and with a high level of political and military risk."
The former Royal Marines commandant general also praised the troops for their training of "hundreds" of Ukrainian military personnel, The Times reported.
He added: "Alongside wider defence, we have been heavily involved in training hundreds of Ukrainian military personnel throughout this summer. We are also planning to train Ukraine marines."
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