21.9 C
New York
September 9, 2019
British army chief: Russia 'far bigger threat than IS'
Top Stories

British army chief: Russia ‘far bigger threat than IS’


Russian President Vladimir Putin has consistently deniedImage copyright
EPA

Image caption

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied allegations Russia was behind the Salisbury spy poisoning

Russia is now a “far greater threat” to the UK’s national security than the Islamic State group, the head of the British army has said.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, General Mark Carleton-Smith said Britain “cannot be complacent about the threat Russia poses”.

“The Russians seek to exploit vulnerability and weakness wherever they detect it,” he said.

The UK blames Russia for the Salisbury poisoning and several cyber-attacks.

In March, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal – who sold secrets to MI6 – and his daughter Yulia survived being poisoned with Novichok.

Dawn Sturgess, 44, was later exposed to the same nerve agent and died in hospital.

And in October, the UK government accused Russia’s GRU military intelligence service of being behind four high-profile cyber-attacks on targets including the US Democratic Party and a small TV network in Britain.

Russia denies any involvement in the Skripal poisoning and has described cyber-attacks accusations as a “rich fantasy”.

Image copyright
EPA/ Yulia Skripal/Facebook

Image caption

Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious

In his first interview since being appointed Chief of the General Staff in June, Gen Carleton-Smith said Russia is “indisputably” a bigger threat than Islamic terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and IS.

“Russia has embarked on a systematic effort to explore and exploit Western vulnerabilities, particularly in some of the non-traditional areas of cyber, space, undersea warfare,” he said.

“We cannot be complacent about the threat Russia poses or leave it uncontested.”

The 54-year-old former SAS commander graduated from Sandhurst military academy in the final years of the Cold War.

He led the search for Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 terror attacks and was at the forefront of Britain’s role in the campaign to combat IS in Iraq and Syria.

Image copyright
Crown Copyright 2016

Image caption

Gen Carleton-Smith said the physical manifestation of the Islamist threat has diminished

Russia has previously been condemned by world leaders over its annexation of Crimea and role in the conflict in Ukraine.

Moscow has also been accused of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election – which President Vladimir Putin and other top Russian officials have repeatedly denied.

Image copyright
Metropolitan Police

Image caption

CCTV shows two suspects in the Salisbury poisoning, whom the UK believes are from Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU

Mr Putin also refutes the UK’s allegations that the two suspects in the Skripal poisoning were GRU operatives.

Russia has accused the British authorities of Russophobia, misleading the international community and UK citizens and of “disgusting anti-Russian hysteria”.

Read more:



Source BBC News

Related posts

Cricket: Sir Alastair Cook joins BBC team for England’s West Indies tour

12news

Aung San Suu Kyi: Amnesty strips Myanmar leader of top prize

12news

Melbourne incident: Man arrested after fire and stabbings

12news

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More