EXCLUSIVE: Former KGB spy warns UK ‘huge target’ for Putin’s secret agents. Source: EXPRESS Daily Briefing

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EXCLUSIVE: Former KGB spy warns UK ‘huge target’ for Putin’s secret agents

VLADIMIR PUTIN sees the UK as a “huge target” for espionage and could even have agents trying to infiltrate places of power, a former KGB spy has told Express.co.uk in an explosive interview.

By Charlie Bradley

09:36, Wed, Aug 17, 2022 | UPDATED: 10:28, Wed, Aug 17, 2022

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Relations between the UK and Russia have been tense over 100 years, but recent developments have marked a new phase as Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine left Moscow isolated. Britain has more than once been victim of what are said to have been Kremlin-authorised attacks: the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 and the 2018 Salisbury poisoning just two of many covert operations within the UK’s borders. Many now worry about how Russia could target the UK for crippling sanctions and outright condemnation of the Russian leader and state.

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In an interview with Express.co.uk, former KGB spy, Jack Barsky, said the UK has always been a “huge target” for Russian espionage, and that the Kremlin could even have ears inside Britain’s most important establishments.

  • Asked if Putin could have a presence in the halls of power in the UK or US, he reflected: “You can’t exclude it because there’s always a possibility. To penetrate government from the outside at a very high level is difficult, if not impossible.

“Russian intelligence is significantly weaker than it was with the KGB in regards to acts of espionage, but there’s two things Russia does now which have improved from the KGB days.

  • “One is active measures, sowing discord in any target country by spreading fake news.
Russia news: Russia sees the UK as a 'huge target'

Russia news: Russia sees the UK as a ‘huge target’ (Image: getty)

  • “The second one is the means of sowing discord. Nowadays, with social media, they have been very effective at making the rift in the US a lot wider.

“When I’m doing public appearances, people ask me how many Russian agents do you think are in US government, and I say, ‘More than you think.'”

Asked if this also applies to the UK, he added: “Absolutely, why not? The focus is always on the US but the UK has always been a huge target for Russian espionage.”

Mr Barsky explained that Russia uses its security services to wage informational war on countries, ultimately aiming to undermine democracy.

He said: “We are talking about trying to destabilise countries. They try to create doubt about the functioning of democracy. A weak US and UK is very important [to Russia].”

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