Armed Forces minister James Heappey has warned serving British soldiers and veterans not to travel to fight in Ukraine.
Mr Heappey told Sky News the government position is that if you are serving member of the armed forces and choose to join the conflict in Ukraine, you are considered to be breaking the law.
“No good comes from British service people or veterans going to Ukraine to be a part of this,” Mr Heappey said. “British people should not be doing it.”
The defence minister told Kay Burley that any serving army personnel who choose to go to Ukraine “will be in a lot of trouble”.
“This is not the time for people to be going there, and the Ukrainians have made clear, once you cross the border with the with the expectation to fight, you’re in it for good,” he told Sky News.
“So people who think they can go and do a couple of weeks, take some selfies, get some Instagram shots, and then come home – that is not the way the Ukrainians are viewing the people that go to fight for British people should not be doing it.”
It comes after the Army yesterday confirmed a number of British soldiers have gone AWOL and may have travelled to Ukraine.
A spokesperson told Sky News: “We are aware of a small number of individual soldiers who have disobeyed orders and gone absent without leave, and may have travelled to Ukraine in a personal capacity.
“We are actively and strongly encouraging them to return to the UK.
“All Service Personnel are prohibited from travelling to Ukraine until further notice.
“This applies whether the Service Person is on leave or not. Personnel travelling to Ukraine will face disciplinary and administrative consequences.”
The defence minister’s remarks seemingly row back on comments from Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who last week said she would “absolutely” support volunteers who went to Ukraine to fight.