Russian Subterfuge in Britain

June 25, 2018 Europe , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , Russia , UK

AFP photo

 

By

Ricardo Swire

 

 

As Commonwealth members CARICOM internal security data monitors trending global activity. Intelligence reports have outlined how global ultra-modern espionage focuses on “energy policies and new technologies rather than political and military intelligence.” Britain’s MI5 counter-intelligence reports approximated thirty Russian agents assigned to the Kremlin’s Embassy and Trade Mission in London. Approximately eighty Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR RF) spies are based across the UK.

 

In the past espionage was typically aimed at secret political and military information. Today intelligence needs include communications technologies. Leading commercial enterprises that specialize in Information Technology genetics, aviation, lasers, optics and electronics are targeted. Although China is Britain’s greatest cyber-warfare threat, Russia is busy sourcing analyses of Westminster’s political environment and the UK’s high-tech weapons systems.

 

A few months ago drama unfolded when Sergei Skripal, a former Russian Intelligence Officer, and his daughter were poisoned in the United Kingdom. The Russian ex-double agent originally revealed identities of Russian sleeper agents embedded in Europe to English MI6 officials. On Sunday March 4, 2018 one hundred and eighty British military personnel comprised of Army, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force chemical weapons experts cordoned off the city of Salisbury. The victim was ambushed with military-grade “Novichok,” an invisible “nerve agent” or chemical weapon, while shopping with his thirty-three year old daughter at Maltings Shopping Centre, ninety miles west of London.

 

Since his 2010 arrival in Britain the Russian former double-agent collaborated with Western intelligence agencies. In 2006 Alexander Litvinenko, another Russian Intelligence Officer, was mysteriously killed by poison while in London. The Kremlin’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Foreign Intelligence Services (SVR) both have overseas interests. Elimination of defectors was standard in the FSB’s predecessor the KGB’s original playbook. During the 1990s the popularity of Russian turncoat eliminations decreased, the furtive act promoted to priority status by the current president, himself a former KGB operative.

 

The March 2018 Novichok attack parallels Russian Intelligence Officer Litvinenko’s murder by “Polonium 210”. Similar to Novichok’s military grade origin, Polonium 210 is a by-product of “Nuclear Fission,” produced only by a State and non commercial enterprises. A 2017 internal security analysis found fourteen mysterious deaths on British soil connected to Russia’s security services. One such incident involved Alexander Perepilichny, a Russian whistleblower who helped Western prosecutors unravel corrupt Russian officials’ financial scams and several oligarch masterminded money laundering schemes.

 

Oligarchs are syndicates of rich Russian businessmen with close associations to the seat of power. There is an intimate Kremlin relationship between private wealth and public power. In December 2017 Boris Titov, a senior Russian political figure, made a grand appearance in London, his official mission on behalf of the Kremlin to convince exiled oligarchs aka “New Russians” to return home. The typical Russian oligarch is linked to a senior national political figure, plus has control of media and security resources.

 

Some safeguard their financial assets with offshore investments such as the American NBA basketball team Brooklyn Nets. The London based Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC are also owned by the Russians. London, Western Europe and Miami are the oligarchs financial “comfort spots.” A recent UK Secret Services memo acknowledged proactive management of an evolving Russian threat. The Kremlin has utilized innovative techniques to access highly classified British information, the FSB renowned for a range of tricks such as the “honeytrap,” where a female spy gathers data by seducing her target.

 

 

 

 

Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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