RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE PRESENCE IN BRITAIN APPROACHING OR POSSIBLY EVEN EXCEEDING THAT OF THE COLD WAR ERA

A Daily Telegraph report earlier this month claimed that as much as fifty percent of the personnel staffing the Russian embassy in London might be engaged in espionage. A prominent KGB defector, Oleg Gordievsky, cautioned that the mid-1980s norm of 39 intelligence officers operating out of the embassy could have been surpassed. Mr. Gordievsky served as a KGB colonel and chief of station in London, and was an MI6 double agent. Other sources maintain as well that the current number of Russian spies active in the UK is up to 40 at any particular time, a level close to or even higher than that found immediately prior to the conclusion of the Cold War period. Said agents are occupied in the customary state spying, along with the industrial espionage aimed at furthering Russian companies, notably those involved in fuel supply.
Jonathan Eyal, a Russian expert at the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), a highly regarded security think tank, stressed the importance of Britain in the Russian intelligence agenda. He attributed the aforementioned interest in part to the longstanding warm British-American relations, viewed as a roundabout means of making inroads against American intelligence. Another factor behind the strong Russian attention is the many prominent Russian figures and critics residing in England, subjects of surveillance on a routine basis. The British spy community now is worried that its focus on security matters regarding the upcoming London Olympics and commemoration of the Queen’s Jubilee will result in greatly increased activity by Russian operatives.


Discuss this articleDiscuss this article

Email

Print this pagePrint this page

Share/Save/Bookmark

Trackback

Posted in: Miscellaneous