MI5 warns up to 50 Russian spies are active in all levels of British society

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MI5 believes as many as 50 Kremlin spies are operating in all areas of British society.

Intelligence sources claim that Vladimir Putin's informers are working in the House of Commons, the civil service and top public schools, reports The Mirror.

It is also understood that Putin has demanded that all his sleeper agents – operating under deep cover – remain on standby to jump into action as a response to Britain's support for Ukraine in their war with Russia.

The Security Service have already been put on alert for potential cyber attacks by Russian spies in the UK.

There are also concerns that the country's military secrets are being targeted, along with Ukrainian activists and Russian dissenters.

A senior intelligence insider said: "We have to assume Russia is now active at all levels of British society. They scoop up all forms of intelligence and pass it back to the Kremlin through handlers.

"This could be anything from what sort of weaponry is being sent to the Ukraine – and how much of it – to the sexual antics of the country's political and military leaders."

The disclosure comes after a suspected Russian spy was seized at Gatwick last week.

The man in his 40s was held under the Official Secrets Act and remains in custody.

Lt Col Philip Ingram, a former military intelligence officer, said: "It is impossible to accurately assess how many Russian agents there are in the UK. Of course there are different types – declared intelligence officers known as part of Russian diplomatic missions, and those operating under cover trying to recruit agents and then sleeper agents in all aspects of society.

"Given our support for Ukraine, Russian intelligence will be focused heavily on operations inside the UK and could also include recruiting agents inside political establishments, defence and industry."

Last week it emerged up to four Russian spies may have infiltrated the Commons.

MP Chris Bryant said there have been no recent warnings to MPs about the presence of Russian agents, but he said it was likely there were a "handful" of Russian moles inside Parliament.

"If the war is prolonged then I think we will see Russia reverting back to old Cold War-style spying techniques," Mr Bryant said.

A Home Office spokesman said: "We have made huge strides in recent years to counter the threat posed by the Russian state and to increase our resilience and that of our allies to Russian malign activity."

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  • Russia
  • Vladimir Putin
  • Russia Ukraine war

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