Grant Shapps forced to cancel Ukraine plans after 'credible Russian missile threat' in latest security blunder

16 March 2024, 21:15 | Updated: 16 March 2024, 22:24

Grant Shapps was forced to abandon a trip to the Ukrainian city of Odesa because of a missile threat from Russia.
Grant Shapps was forced to abandon a trip to the Ukrainian city of Odesa because of a missile threat from Russia. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

Grant Shapps was forced to abandon a trip to the Ukrainian city of Odesa because of a missile threat from Russia.

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The Defence Secretary aborted the visit after intelligence suggested that Russians had become aware of his travel plans in an embarrassing moment for British security, according to the Sunday Times.

An armoured convoy carrying Ukrainian president Zelenskyy and Greek Prime Minsiter Kyriakos Mitsotakis was nearly hit by Russian missiles near the port city on March 6.

Read More: Russia 'jams signals' on Grant Shapps official RAF plane as it flew over Poland following NATO drills

Mr Shapps was in Ukraine alongside journalists from The Sunday Times to meet Zelenskyy alongside chief of the defence staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin.

Speaking to the newspaper, Mr Shapps said: "Putin has shown himself to be reckless, ruthless and careless."

Grant Shapps
Mr Shapps was in Ukraine alongside journalists from The Sunday Times to meet Zelenskyy alongside chief of the defence staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin. Picture: Alamy
Odesa is a vital port city near the front lines of Russia's invading forces
Odesa is a vital port city near the front lines of Russia's invading forces. Picture: Alamy

Having travelled back to the UK through Poland, Mr Shapps continued: "The fact he came perilously close to essentially assasinating two western leaders, it doesn't matter whether that is deliberate or accidental.

What the hell is he doing, and why the heck would the West allow him to do that kind of thing?"

The latest security breach comes after a major military operation was launched to identify the source of the Russian military cyber attack suspected of jamming the satellite signal on an RAF aircraft carrying Defence Secretary Grant Shapps back from Poland on Thursday.

Britain and Nato allies are now carrying out surveillance missions to locate the cyberhackers that blocked the RAF plane for almost 30 minutes.

Shapps had been travelling on the RAF’s Envoy, a Dassault 900LX, to visit troops in Mazury, a military base near the Belarus border, when the aircraft’s pilots lost access to the GPS.

London, England, UK. 12th Mar, 2024. Defence Secretary, GRANT SHAPPS, arrives at Downing Street for a Cabinet Meeting. (Credit Image: © Thomas Krych/ZUMA Press Wire) EDITORIAL USAGE ONLY! Not for Commercial USAGE!
London, England, UK. 12th Mar, 2024. Defence Secretary, GRANT SHAPPS, arrives at Downing Street for a Cabinet Meeting. (Credit Image: © Thomas Krych/ZUMA Press Wire) EDITORIAL USAGE ONLY! Not for Commercial USAGE! Picture: Alamy

A British Rivet Joint surveillance aircraft has now taken off from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, and is headed for the Baltic. It will be joined by a US military Rivet Joint which left from a base in Mildenhall, Suffolk, the Daily Mail reported.

The two military aircraft will circle the Russian oblast of Kaliningrad, which borders Poland, and will detect the electronic emissions from GPS jamming systems.

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