Pro-Putin mob yells abuse at Britain’s ambassador to Moscow as she is called in to Russian ministry over false claims UK orchestrated explosions on Nord Stream pipe and Black Sea Fleet
- UK ambassador was summoned to the Moscow foreign ministry on Thursday
- Deborah Bronnert was met by angry mob chanting ‘Britain is a terrorist state’
- Comes after Russia accused UK of orchestrating attacks on Black Sea Fleet
- Kremlin has also accused Britain of being involved in attacks on Nord Stream
Britain’s ambassador to Russia was met by a mob as she was summoned to the foreign ministry today over claims the UK orchestrated attacks the Nord Stream pipes and Black Sea Fleet.
Deborah Bronnert was confronted by demonstrators waving banners reading ‘Britain is a terrorist state’ and ‘Britain will answer for the Nord Stream’ as she stepped out of her car in Moscow this morning.
Russia’s foreign ministry hauled Bronnert in to show her ‘evidence’ that the UK had helped orchestrate Ukrainian drone attacks on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol at the weekend.
The meeting also comes after the foreign ministry and Kremlin accused the UK of working with America to attack the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipes in September.
Deborah Bronnert, the British ambassador to Russia, was summoned to the foreign ministry this morning to see ‘evidence’ the UK helped attack the Nord Stream pipes and Black Sea Fleet
Protesters – who appeared to be stage-managed – carried banners reading ‘Britain is a terrorist state’ and ‘Britain will answer for the Nord Stream’
Bronnert strolled past ignoring the protest – which appeared to be stage-managed – and stayed inside the ministry for around half an hour.
There was no immediate comment from Russia or Britain about what transpired during the meeting.
Britain has denied being involved in direct attacks on Russia or its assets but is open about providing support to Ukraine’s war effort, with London warning Putin it would back Kyiv before he chose to invade.
Western officials said Wednesday that Russia’s increasingly wild allegations about nuclear weapons and sabotage attacks are a way to distract from its failing war.
The protests follow a frenzy of anti-British claims, while demands to retaliate against the UK has come from Russian officials and Kremlin-controlled Russian state TV.
The UK is being spuriously blamed for explosions in the Nord Stream gas pipelines and a weekend drone attack on naval port Sevastopol in annexed Crimea.
‘The UK ambassador will be summoned and will be given the appropriate materials,’ said foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova a day ahead of the meeting.
The official alleged ‘the participation of British specialists in the preparation of Kyiv’s attacks’.
Russia has ramped up the rhetoric against the UK as its invasion in Ukraine has faltered, with Western officials saying the wild claims are a distraction tactic
Demonstrations in central Moscow are rare and usually quickly crushed by police – suggesting Thursday’s action was carried out with tacit support from authorities
Britain is likely being targeted because it is leading support for Ukraine – having given more than any other country bar the US
It was unclear who the protesters were but they appeared to be stage managed.
If anti-Putin protesters want to organise a demonstration in Moscow, it is almost impossible to get permission.
Close Putin crony Nikolai Patrushev – secretary of the Russian security council – repeated the allegations against Britain in a Moscow speech today.
‘According to the Russian Defense Ministry, representatives of the British naval forces took part in [the] planning and implementation [of attacks],’ he said.
‘It is impossible not to pay attention to the SMS message, which at that time British Prime Minister Liz Truss immediately reports to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken after the gas pipelines were blown up that ‘everything is done’.’
He claimed: ‘Literally from the first minutes after the reports of explosions on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, an active campaign was launched to accuse Russia.
‘However, it is obvious that the main beneficiary of these terrorist attacks is the United States.’
Zakharova had earlier accused Bronnert of ‘criminal hypocrisy’ in laying flowers at the Solovetsky Stone on the eve of the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression while Britain was supposedly involved in drone attacks on Sevastopol at the weekend.
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was targeted by drone boats over the weekend in an operation that Moscow said was orchestrated by British special forces
Smoke rises over Sevastopol – Russia’s main naval base in Crimea – after it was attacked by drones over the weekend