THE UK Government used a clash with Russia in the Black Sea as a "propaganda exercise" and Ministry of Defence (MoD) documents found at a bus stop prove it, campaigners claim.

A classified 50-page dossier was found at a bus stop in Kent on Tuesday morning and passed to the BBC.

The news followed warning shots which were fired at HMS Defender as it passed through the Black Sea on June 23, the day after the documents were found.

While the UK Government claimed the ship had been "conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters", the documents suggest that the mission had been conducted in the expectation that Russia may respond aggressively.

READ MORE: Russian jets 'buzz' UK warship after shots fired in Black Sea dispute

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU), the UK’s leading pacifist group, said that the documents' mention of a "strong narrative" alongside the two journalists on the Defender (one from the BBC and one from the Daily Mail) show that the MoD, "like their Russian counterparts, were prepared to use this as a propaganda exercise".

The PPU further accused both the British and Russian governments of using the incident to stir up military tension and distract public attention from problems at home and urged the BBC to publish the documents as a matter of public interest.

Symon Hill, the PPU's campaigns manager, said: “So far the BBC has only given short quotes from the leaked documents. They are enough to make clear that this was not the routine naval operation that the government claimed but that the MoD expected military tension from the start.

"Comments about a strong ‘narrative’, along with the presence of journalists on board, make clear that the MoD, like their Russian counterparts, were prepared to use this as a propaganda exercise.

“Boris Johnson and Vladimir Putin are two sides of the same coin. UK and Russian forces use each other’s militarism to justify their own.

"This does nothing to make people in the UK, Russia or Ukraine any safer. The only things protected by these sort of operations are the profits of arms dealers and the egos of politicians.”

READ MORE: Secret British military documents found by member of public at bus stop

An MoD spokesperson repeated claims of "innocent passage", saying: "As the public would expect, the Ministry of Defence plans carefully. As a matter of routine, that includes analysing all the potential factors affecting operational decisions.

"HMS Defender conducted innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law."

They added: "The Ministry of Defence was informed last week of an incident in which sensitive defence papers were recovered by a member of the public.

"The department takes the security of information extremely seriously and an investigation has been launched. The employee concerned reported the loss at the time. It would be inappropriate to comment further."