Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Russia expels British military attache in tit-for-tat move

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Russia has ordered the expulsion of the UK’s military attache after a similar move by British authorities last week, as Cold War-style tensions rise between London and Moscow.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, the Russian foreign ministry ordered Capt Adrian Coghill to leave the country.

“The defence attache at the British Embassy in Moscow, AT Coghill, has been declared persona non grata. He must leave the territory of the Russian Federation within a week,” it said.

It comes a week after Britain ejected Col Maxim Elovik, a Russian military attache, following his identification as a spy.

James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, took the decision after a series of “malign” espionage incidents in the UK and in EU countries, including an apparent arson attack on a Ukrainian-owned warehouse in east London.

Five people were charged over the warehouse fire, which UK officials said was orchestrated by the Kremlin.

Mr Cleverly said that Col Elovik was an “undeclared military intelligence officer” and that his expulsion was part of a fresh campaign to “target and dismantle Russian intelligence-gathering”.

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