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Russian Foreign Ministry declares British defense attaché persona non grata

by Sonya Bandouil May 17, 2024 1:20 AM 1 min read
Demonstrators hold placards, and Ukrainian and British flags during a protest rally for a Stop the War in Ukraine Global Day of Action, in central London, on March 6, 2022 as part of an international day of anti-war action, prompted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. - Ukraine's President Zelensky has urged foreigners to head to Ukrainian embassies worldwide to sign up for an "international brigade" of volunteers to help fight invading Russian forces. He previously called on foreigners with combat experience to come to help defend his country, which has come under a withering Russian military assault from three sides since February 24. (Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Russian Foreign Ministry has declared Adrian Coghill, the military attaché of the British Embassy in Moscow, persona non grata and ordered him to leave the country within a week.

This decision is a retaliatory measure following the UK's expulsion of the Russian military attaché on May 8, whom they said was an undeclared intelligence officer.

“This measure does not exhaust our reaction to the unfriendly anti-Russian actions of the British side,” the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on May 8. “The initiators of the escalation will be informed about further retaliatory steps.”

This expulsion is part of broader tensions, including recent UK actions against individuals accused of conducting hostile activities in the interests of the Russian government, and espionage charges against several Bulgarian citizens for alleged spying for Russia.

"Our response will be resolute and firm," British Home Secretary James Cleverly said. "Our message to Russia is clear: stop this illegal war, withdraw your troops from Ukraine, cease this malign activity."

UK to expel Russian defense attache for being ‘undeclared military intelligence officer’
The U.K. is to expel a Russian defense attache, saying they are an “undeclared military intelligence officer,” British Home Secretary James Cleverly said on May 8.
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