Russian threat to cut Britain off from the internet
Russia’s former president Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday there are no more “moral boundaries” to stop Moscow from destroying its enemies’ submarine cables in a threat to the United Kingdom and its allies.
This is because of what he said was Western complicity in last year’s Nord Stream pipeline explosions, which are officially still unexplained.
Medvedev made the menacing remarks on his official channel on the Telegram messaging application early Wednesday amid fears Russia could cut the cables connecting Britain to the internet, causing widespread blackouts.
Explosions ruptured both Nord Stream 1 and the newly built Nord Stream 2 pipelines last September, which carried gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Germany had already canceled the project because of the war in Ukraine.
According to US media reports, Washington was aware of a Ukrainian plot to blow up the gas pipelines. Kiev has denied that it destroyed them.
Russia’s former president Dmitry Medvedev (seen left in Russia on June 1) said on Wednesday there are no more “moral boundaries” to stop Moscow from destroying its enemies’ submarine cables in a threat to the United Kingdom and his allies.
Firebrand Medvedev, who served as Russia’s president from 2008 to 2012 while Vladimir Putin temporarily assumed the role of prime minister, has become increasingly aggressive in recent years — especially since Putin invaded Ukraine.
As one of Putin’s closest allies, he has previously threatened the UK, saying in late May that British officials are now legitimate targets for Russia.
This came after British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said targets within Russia’s borders were legitimate targets for Ukraine to attack.
In January, he said a Russian loss in Ukraine “could trigger a nuclear war” in a threat to the UK because of its supply of arms to Kiev and its armed forces.
In recent months, fears have increased that Russia could attack cables and pipelines in the North Sea that carry everything from gas to electricity, from banking data to military communications to the UK.
Earlier this year, Russian ships were caught prowling British shores, with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace warning last month that Russia has “the intent and ability” to sabotage the West’s critical infrastructure.
Experts warn such an attack would be “disastrous” for the UK, endangering lives as hospitals lose power, wipe billions from the economy as banks were disconnected from the global system, cut off remote communities and potentially spark riots.
Experts say this doomsday scenario poses an existential threat to our way of life in addition to nuclear war.
Dr. Dwayne Ryan Menezes, of the Polar Research & Policy Initiative, told MailOnline in May: ‘Damage to submarine telecommunications and power cables could be catastrophic for the UK.
‘[It could] cause internet outages and power outages; affect homes and businesses; cutting off communities; telephone, mobile and internet services, public transport, emergency services, hospitals, schools and universities and local governments.
‘[It could] make it impossible to conduct international financial transactions; and have significant adverse effects on the UK economy and on London’s status as the world’s most international and connected global financial centre.
“Since cable damage can take days or weeks to repair, it could even lead to potential civil unrest and riots.”
The cost, while difficult to estimate, could certainly run into the billions, he added.
Meanwhile, launching a new security partnership with Norway last month, Defense Secretary Wallace warned that Moscow has submarines and spy ships designed to attack underwater energy and communication lines.
Fears are growing that Russia could target UK power and data cables, effectively cutting the country off from the global grid and putting lives in the UK at risk as hospitals lost power, wiping billions from the economy as banks were disconnected from the global system. cutting off remote communities and potentially sparking riots
Medvedev’s comments come the morning after it was revealed that Dutch military intelligence had alerted the CIA to a Ukrainian plan to blow up the Nord Stream gas pipeline three months before explosions would damage the submarine system.
Together with Russia, France and Germany, the Netherlands was one of the most important stakeholders in Nord Stream. Germany had
The US spy service then urged Kiev not to allow the operation to go ahead, according to the Dutch public broadcaster NOS in collaboration with the German broadcaster ARD and the national weekly Die Zeit.
The CIA then warned Ukraine “after receiving an alarming report from the Dutch Military Intelligence Service (MIVD) who learned about the plans through a Ukrainian source,” NOS said.
The Washington Post reported last week that the CIA had been tipped off about Ukraine’s plans by a European spy agency, but did not specify which country was responsible.
Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren declined to comment when asked about the reports.
“I cannot comment on the work of our intelligence services,” she told reporters at a press conference in Amsterdam, adding that the incident is being investigated by Germany, Sweden and Denmark.
Allegations were made against several countries, including Russia, the United States and Ukraine, but all denied responsibility. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky again denied Kiev’s involvement earlier this month.
The plan, reportedly intercepted by Dutch intelligence, said top Ukrainian general Valerii Zaluzhnyi was in charge of the operation, which involved a small team of divers using a sailboat, and that Zelensky was unaware, NOS reported. .
It added that, along with German media, it had spoken to several international intelligence sources who were aware of the MIVD’s involvement.
The Washington Post said documents leaked by a US Air National Guard computer technician indicated that an unnamed European spy agency informed the US Central Intelligence Agency about the plan in June 2022.
Explosions ruptured both Nord Stream 1 and the newly built Nord Stream 2 pipelines last September, which carried gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Pictured: The gas leak at Nord Stream 2 can be seen on Sept. 27, a day after an explosion ruptured the pipeline
According to US media reports, Washington was aware of a Ukrainian plot to blow up the gas pipelines. Kiev has denied that it destroyed them
Meanwhile, German investigators are looking for evidence that Poland was used as a base for the operation, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
Russia’s sending of troops to Ukraine in February 2022 put Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas in the political spotlight, and the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines accelerated the region’s switch to other energy suppliers.
The explosions took place in the economic zones of Sweden and Denmark. Both countries said the explosions were deliberate, but have yet to determine who was responsible. Those countries and Germany are investigating.
Washington and NATO called the incident “an act of sabotage”. Moscow accused detectives of dragging and trying to hide who was behind the attack.