Vladimir Putin has issued a chilling warning to the UK over claims British special forces are disrupting Russian nuclear power plants.
The Russian president said the UK could face “serious consequences” over claims they are teaching Ukrainian troops how to disrupt the power lines.
He provided no evidence for his comments, made during a morning session at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, far eastern Russia.
They are likely part of a wider disinformation campaign aimed at the domestic Russian population, as well as friendly forces abroad, to justify their illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Putin’s word is often taken at face value within his own country, in part because to disagree with him is incredibly dangerous, so his claims often become a quasi-truth simply by virture of the fact he has uttered them.
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Putin claimed his FSB security service had interrogated a Ukrainian team operating inside Russia during a speech at an economic forum in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.
“It turned out to be a sabotage group of Ukrainian special services,” he said.
“Interrogation showed they had been tasked to damage one of our nuclear stations by exploding a power line… to damage the work of the power plant. And this is not the first attempt.”
He alleged: “During interrogation, they admitted they were trained under supervision of British instructors. Do [the British] understand what they are playing with, or not?
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“Are they provoking our response at Ukrainian nuclear sites, nuclear stations, or what?
“Does the British leadership, or the Prime Minister [of the United Kingdom. Rishi Sunak] know what their special services are engaged with in Ukraine?
“Or do they have no clue at all? I assume this is possible, too. I assume it is possible British special services act on the orders of the Americans. Either way, we know the final beneficiary.
“But do they realise what they are playing with? I am afraid they simply underestimate…. I know there will be howling that starts after my words like ‘These are threats!’, ‘Nuclear blackmail!’, and so on.”
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Putin told his audience at the forum: “I assure you this is the total pure truth. So these guys are telling this to us during interrogation.
“I know some can say, “They will say anything under a gun”. This is not true. And the leadership of the British special services knows I am telling the truth. But I am not sure the leadership of Great Britain understands what’s going on.
“These kinds of things are seriously concerning, because they [the UK] don’t feel the ground – which can lead to serious consequences.”
Putin did not specify which branch of British special services he was alleging had trained the Ukrainian sabotage team.
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