Falkland Islands’ fears for Russia-backed invasion

Falkland Islands' fears for Russia-backed invasion
Falkland Islands' fears for Russia-backed invasion   

The U.K. has sent extra military support to one of its overseas colonies at the bottom of the world, the Falkland Islands, amid concerns that it is facing increased risk of attack from Argentina, backed by Russia.

Two troop-carrying Chinook helicopters and a new surface-to-air missile system have been sent by the U.K. to the remote islands in the South Atlantic, known as Las Malvinas in Argentina. They were the subject of a short-lived war between the U.K. and Argentina in 1982, and lie to the east of Argentina, 8,000 miles away from Britain.

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The bolstering of the islands' defences comes after Russia's ambassador to the U.K. compared Britain's control of them unfavorably to Russia's annexation of Crimea, just over a year ago.

Abhijit Bhatlekar | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Russian embassy in London said in a statement, after U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond criticized Russia over Crimea: "In its rhetoric Foreign Office applies one logic to the referendum in the Malvinas/Falklands, and a different one to the case of Crimea."

The loss of the Falklands War still rankles Argentina.

Left-leaning President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, struggling with a debt crisis at home, has also recently brought the islands back to attention. She said late last year: "The Malvinas has always belonged to Argentina, the same way that Crimea also belonged to the Soviet Union until it was given to Ukraine."

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