Daily US Times: Classified Ministry of Defence documents, almost 50 pages in all, containing details about the British military and HMS Defender have been found at a bus stop in Kent.
One set of documents discusses the likely Russian reaction to HMS Defender’s passage through Ukrainian waters off the Crimea coast on Wednesday.
Another details plans for a possible British military presence in Afghanistan after the US-led Nato operation there ends.
The government said an investigation had been launched how the documents found in the bus stop.
A Defence Ministry spokesperson said an employee had reported the loss of sensitive defence papers, adding: “It would be inappropriate to comment further.”
The documents were found in a soggy heap behind a bus stop in Kent early on Tuesday morning.
A member of the public, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted the BBC when he realised the sensitive nature of the documents.
The BBC believes the documents, which include PowerPoint presentations and emails, originated in the office of a senior official at the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The documents relating to the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer, HMS Defender, show that a mission described by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as an “innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters”, with guns covered and the ship’s helicopter stowed in its hangar, was conducted in the expectation that Russia might respond aggressively.
On Wednesday two Russian coastguard ships and more than 20 Russian aircraft shadowed the warship as it sailed about 12 miles (19km) off Crimea’s coast.