Tensions between the United Kingdom and Russia have risen to new levels in recent times, especially following Donald Trump’s win in the United States Presidential race, which Russia was alleged to have influenced. The Russian element brought to light the fact that it had the potential to greatly influence Western political and social systems through covert means.
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As a result, Whitehall officials recently sounded off the alarm on the threat of unconventional warfare through espionage and propaganda. The main concern was that there were Russian intelligence agents in UK education, institutions, and companies.
According to a report by The Telegraph, “Concerns have now been raised that British companies and institutions have been penetrated by Russian agents, including UK citizens. It emerged last night that several academics at Cambridge University have stepped down from an intelligence forum over fears of Kremlin influence.”
According to a recent statement by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, there is a need for Britain to focus on counterespionage and counterintelligence. This was while speaking during a parliamentary session. Apparently, Russian influence has penetrated parliament, with some British MPs being thought to be under the Kremlin’s control.
News networks largely controlled by Russian entities have also been put on the spotlight for misinformation. Towards the end of last year, the UK froze bank accounts linked to Russia Today, a media house funded by the Russian government.
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According to a statement offered by RT, it received a letter from Natwest, a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, stating that its banking facilities in the UK would be withdrawn without redress. RT, which operates a television and online news network had previously been flagged by Ofcom for biased reporting on the Ukraine and Syria conflicts.
That said, the United Kingdom has a right to be worried, considering that the nation has been taking part in military exercises on the Russian border, which the Kremlin interprets as an act of aggression. However, if it ever goes into a military confrontation with Russia, the UK stands to lose big. This is according to a new report by Yahoo.
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Apparently, the UK’s military equipment is dilapidated and not capable of withstanding a targeted offensive by countries such as Russia. Specifically highlighting Britain’s warships, they are apparently so noisy that Russian submarines can hear them 100 miles away. The following is an excerpt of the report.
“Among the flaws found in the nation’s defences were submarines that reportedly make so much noise Russian submarines can hear them from a distance of up to 100 miles. Technical faults have also meant the army’s 54 £1.2bn Watchdog reconnaissance drones – which were announced at the height of the Iraq war in 2005 – have barely entered into service.”
“Britain’s Type 45 destroyers – which have been plagued by engine problems – are “as noisy as hell”, a former director of operational capability for the Ministry of Defence (MoD)”
This is according to Rear Admiral Chris Parry, who spoke to the Sunday Times. He also recalled a time when the crew was forced to improvise to reduce the noise, stating the following.
“We used to put little wooden wedges between the hatchclips and the hatches in my destroyer to stop them rattling so we could keep the noise down. We have forgotten all about it — it’s crazy. Noise suppression has been probably the biggest dirty secret since the end of the Cold War that people have been cheerfully ignoring.”
The UK is presently pressing for the United States to maintain sanctions against Russia, designed to force it into conforming to terms outlined in the Minsk Agreement. It was drafted to help maintain peace in Ukraine. According to Theresa May’s recent statement after meeting US President Donald Trump, “We believe the sanctions should continue until we see that Minsk agreement fully implemented and we’ve been continuing to argue that inside the European Union.”
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