British special forces operated covertly in Ukraine alongside Kyiv forces in the early days of the conflict with Russia. Photo/army.mod.uk
WARSAW – British special forces secretly operated in Ukraine alongside Kyiv troops in the early days of the conflict with Russia. That’s what Declassified UK revealed on Wednesday, citing a newly published book by Polish journalist Zbigniew Parafianowicz.
Parafianowicz is the Ukrainian correspondent for a Polish daily; Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (DGP). His latest work, “Polska na Wojnie (Poland at War)”, examines Warsaw’s role in the conflict in its neighboring country.
Quoting the Declassified UK report on Thursday (7/12/2023), at one point, an unnamed Polish government minister told Parafianowicz about a time in March 2022 when he traveled from Kyiv to Zhitomir.
“At that time Russia was still standing in Bucha, and the route was in the gray zone. There is a possibility to meet Russians. We pass the final checkpoint. The Ukrainian side told us that we would continue at our own risk,” said the unnamed minister.
“Well, who do we meet next? Ukrainian army and British special forces. Uniformed. With weapons.”
According to sources cited by Parafianowicz, the British and Ukrainians worked together, driving around the countryside with artillery tracking radars, “learning about this war.”
The same official also said that Polish special forces based in Lublin had been in Brovary, a suburb of Kyiv, “on the first day” of hostilities.
Poles – along with British and American citizens – have been training Ukrainian special forces since 2014, the minister said.
According to Parafianowicz, the British Special Air Service (SAS) has also trained security officers for President Volodymyr Zelensky.