The state broadcaster claimed that an anonymous citizen handed over the bundle of papers he found in Kent County, after realizing the sensitive nature of the contents.
The British Defense Ministry admitted, for its part, that one of its employees reported the loss of documents containing classified information, and that an investigation is underway.
According to the BBC, the documents include e-mails and PowerPoint presentations that would prove that the mission of the British Navy ship in the Black Sea was not as ‘innocent’ as Defense Minister Ben Wallace claimed after the incident.
Russia reported Wednesday that aircraft and ships from its Black Sea fleet fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of the Defender after the vessel entered territorial waters near the Crimean peninsula, which it called a premeditated act and provocation.
British authorities tried to minimize the event, and attributed the shooting to military exercises being carried out by Russian forces in the area, but a BBC correspondent on board of the ship reported the overflight of Russian combat aircraft and the presence of Russian warships.
According to what Wallace said in the British Parliament, the British destroyer was making an ‘innocent’ passage through Ukrainian territorial waters, since the United Kingdom does not recognize Russian jurisdiction over the disputed area.
Documents found at the Kent bus stop a day before the incident would reveal, however, that the British military command assessed two routes for the Defender: one that envisaged the deployment of Russian aircraft and ships as a warning signal, and another away from the disputed waters, but which would imply recognition of Russia’s jurisdiction over the area.