Fact Check: UK Did NOT Call For Civilians To Serve In The British Army In Preparation For War With Russia

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  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: UK Did NOT Call For Civilians To Serve In The British Army In Preparation For War With Russia Refuted

Was a Bulgarian living in the United Kingdom called into the British Army for a war with Russia shortly after a senior British military official warned that civilians could be mobilized for a massive war with Russia? No, that's not true: There is no military draft underway in the UK. A speech by General Patrick Sanders addressed the possibility of a future conflict with Russia, not a currently developing one, and he spoke about the need to mobilize, train, and equip a "citizen army" to prepare for such a possible future scenario. The British government denied there were plans to change the voluntary nature of British military service, saying the views of Sanders represented a "hypothetical scenario" and his speech was "not helpful."

The claim appeared in a video on TikTok (archived here) published by @leosownbubble on January 31, 2024, with a caption translated into English from Bulgarian by Lead Stories staff that reads:

Bulgaria, I'm coming back! 🇧🇬

They are calling me into the army for war with Russia 🤕🤯🔫

The 33-second video begins with an unidentified man speaking in Bulgarian, translated into English by Lead Stories staff. The narrator says:

The British Army has warned civilians that they could be drafted into the army for a massive war against Russia. These people (Russians) have been fighting bears since they were 3 years old, against an army 20 times larger than ours here. Are you crazy? Bulgaria, I'm going back! Of course, there is also the option of refusing to go into the army, but I guess they will put you in prison, and you will lie in jail.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-02-06 at 9.09.18.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Feb 6 07:19:15 2024 UTC)

The content of the TikTok video misleadingly suggests that the man shown is mobilized or drafted into the British Army for war with Russia. According to a Sky News article (archived here) on January 29, 2024, conscription has not been used as a draft mechanism for the British Army since the 1960s. The British government does not plan to conscript civilians into military service, neither nationals nor foreigners.

In a post (archived here) on X (formerly Twitter) dated January 25, 2024, on his official Twitter page, UK's Minister of State for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, stated that any speculation about introducing conscription into the British Army is "nonsense."

Firstly, conscription. Nobody's ever mentioned it, nobody's even thinking about it. CGS didn't say it. It's all nonsense.

The article (archived here) shown in the TikTok video as evidence is from the Euronews website, dated January 24, 2024. In the article, the British government denied that it plans to mobilize civilians, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's spokesman, Max Blain, saying the British Army is a "voluntary force" and "there are no plans to change that" and adding the government "has no intention" of introducing conscription.

British officials were reacting to a speech by Army General Patrick Sanders, who warned (archived here) that British society should mentally prepare for the event of a possible future conflict with Russia. The article explained that in the view of General Sanders, civilians should prepare for a potential military scenario in the coming years and Britain should train and equip a "citizen army" for that possibility (archived here).

According to a Telegraph article (archived here) dated 24 January 2024, the Prime Minister's spokesman reacted by saying the comments represented "hypothetical scenarios" for a possible future conflict and as such were "not helpful."

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