Grant Shapps abandons Odessa trip due to Russian missile threat

11:49 21.03.2024 •

British defence minister (left)  - scared to deanth after his trip to Ukraine

Grant Shapps, British defence minister, was forced to abandon a trip to Ukraine’s southern city of Odessa because of a Russian missile threat. The defence secretary aborted the visit after he was warned by British intelligence that the Russians had become aware of his travel plans, reveals ‘The Guardian’.

As he flew to Poland from RAF Northolt last week, he was notified that an armoured convoy carrying the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and the Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, narrowly avoided a Russian missile strike while visiting the port city on 6 March.

The news raised the threat level to Shapps’ safety from substantial to critical, according to the Sunday Times, which had access to the delegation.

Shapps, travelling with chief of the defence staff, Adm Sir Tony Radakin, and a small team of British officials, took an overnight train from Poland, arriving in Kyiv on 7 March for talks with Zelenskiy and senior members of his wartime administration.

However, the planned onward journey to Odessa was called off after an intelligence update revealed the Kremlin’s knowledge of it, according to a Sunday Times report.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “On a recent trip to Ukraine, the defence secretary did not make a planned visit to Odessa for security reasons.

It was Shapp’s second trip to Ukraine as defence secretary and his third since the outbreak of the war in February 2022 and comes as Zelenskiy faces waning enthusiasm in the west for supporting Kyiv.

European countries are struggling to find enough weapons and ammunition to send to Ukraine, and US help worth $60bn (£47bn) is stalled over political differences in Washington.

On the battlefield, Ukrainian forces withdrew from the strategic eastern city of Avdiivka last month.

Shapps said he hoped his visit would serve as a “wake-up call” to “push, persuade and even embarrass the rest of the world into action”.

Shapps showed the world that he was scared to death…


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