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Kremlin planning malign influence operations in Britain


Russia doesn’t stop trying to interfere in British politics and influence public opinion in this country. In February 2023, Russian intelligence, with the help of its assets on the ground, intends to conduct operations to popularize the idea of London leaving NATO and ending military aid to Ukraine. Such tasks are among the priorities of the psyops and influence operations of Russian intelligence agencies targeting Europe and the United States.

On February 25, 2023, a No2NatoNo2War conference is scheduled to be held in London, as well as a rally under the slogan “Stop the War in Ukraine!” where the idea of economic and security expediency of Britain’s withdrawal from NATO will be promoted, while Russian aggression against Ukraine will be portrayed as Moscow defending against the expansion of the Alliance. Also, it will be claimed that, without Britain’s military aid to Ukraine, the war would have long ended. It will be emphasized, in line with the Kremlin’s narratives, that the further supply of weapons to Kyiv could lead to a nuclear war, and that without Western weapons, Ukraine would have already started peace negotiations with Russia.

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It will be separately emphasized that Great Britain’s participation in NATO and military aid to Ukraine are the main factors in the deterioration of the economic situation and lowering of the standard of living.

The information campaign accompanying the upcoming conference avoids any assessment of Russia’s war crimes and other actions in Ukraine. Moscow portrays the war as a “conflict” that arose as a result of NATO’s eastward expansion. Instead, Ukraine is presented as a neo-Nazi state, and the Revolution of Dignity – as the West-inspired coup. Among the messages set to be promoted at the event is the GRU’s basic narrative about the risk of nuclear war in case partners continue their military support to Ukraine. Moscow sees this as the only effective argument that can change the current position of western democracies, despite realizing that the scenario is futile as such. This exposes Russia as wary of the existing risks in the current conditions, which leads them to turn to response models developed during the Cold War era. In particular, this is about working with the anti-war movement in the West, involving supporters of leftist ideas.

The Russian Embassy in Great Britain promoted the conference and demonstration on its social media. The embassy, as well as the Russian intelligence “rezidentura” operatives operating at the embassy, are responsible for the meddling operation and coordination of the assets involved.

To organize the conference and demonstration, Russia is engaging the Workers Party of Britain (WPB), which was founded in 2019 and is undoubtedly a Russian intelligence aimed to engage politicians and regular Britons supporting the left-wing ideology. The party is not represented in either national or local parliaments. It was formed with a commitment to defend the achievements of the USSR, China, and Cuba. The WPB refers to itself as an opposition to Labour, arguing that the latter no longer represent the British working class. The party had strong links with the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist–Leninist) (CPGB-ML). There is a version that the creation of the WPB was aimed at winning favor of part of the Labour electoral field to make it to the British Parliament.

The Russians also engaged the public movement “The Stop the War Coalition / StWC”, which was founded in 2001. Members of the coalition are members of the left wing of the Labor Party. At the end of February 2022, the coalition declared that it opposes the war in Ukraine and believes that the crisis can be resolved on the basis of the right of the people of Ukraine to self-determination and respect for security guarantees for Russia.

WPB and StWC are closely intertwined through mutual membership.

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For example, George Galloway – born in 1954, a former MP with the Labor Party, head of the Workers Party of Britain”, vice-president of the Stop the War Coalition;

Some of those representing these organizations are communists and have been affiliated with Russia since the Soviet times. That is, they were likely put in sleep mode by Russian intelligence. Among such figures is Andrew Philip Drummond-Murray, born in 1958. He is one of the key figures in the Stop the War Coalition, former member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, head of staff of Unite the Union, one of Britain’s largest trade unions, member of the Workers Party of Britain, and hardcore Stalinist. In 2018, he provided assistance to the “DPR” and “LPR” pseudo-entities.

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Alex Gordon – born circa 1967, head of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers / RMT, one of the leaders of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

Jeremy Bernard Corbyn, born on May 26, 1949, one of the key figures in the Stop the War Coalition, former chairman of the Labor Party (2015-2020), Member of Parliament;

Salma Yaqoob (Jacob) – born on August 15, 1971, member of the Labour Party, activist with the Stop the War Coalition;

Christopher Williamson – born on September 16, 1956, former Member of Parliament (2010-2015, 2017-2019), former member of the Labour Party (excluded from its ranks for anti-Semitic remarks);

This fact confirms previous conclusions that Russia managed to penetrate the political environment of the vast majority of Britain’s political forces. The influence of trade union officials in Russian ,align operations, which allows the Kremlin to set up strikes, acts of protest or sabotage at critical infrastructure facilities across Great Britain, is a matter of concern. The following persons are also involved in the scheduled operations:

Eddie Dempsey – born in 1982, Senior Assistant General Secretary, RMT, an overt Putinist. In 2015, he illegally visited the occupied areas of Luhansk region. Activist with the Stop the War Coalition”;

Paul Andrew Hudd – born in 1975, Vice-President the Railway Trade Union (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen /ASLEF), member of the Workers Party of Britain;

John Michael Whelan – born in 1960, Union General Secretary, ASLEF Railway Workers’ Union;

Michael Lynch – born in 1962, RMT General Secretary;

Sarah Woolley – born in 1987, head of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union, board member of The General Federation of Trade Unions;

Fran Heathcote – born in 1980, chief of the Public and Commercial Services Union;

Kevin Courtney – born in 1959, General Secretary of the National Education Union;

Michael Wallace – born in 1955, citizen of Ireland, Member of the European Parliament since 2019, activist with the Stop the War Coalition;

Clare Daly – born in 1968, citizen of Ireland, member of the European Parliament since 2019, activist with the Stop the War Coalition;

Kareem Dennis (aka Lowkey) – born in 1986, singer, musician, activist with the Stop the War Coalition; an overt Putinist.

In preparation for the events scheduled for February 25, 2023, the Stop the War Coalition on January 21, 2022 held a so-called trade union conference.

The Workers Party of Britain and the Stop the War Coalition are on Britain’s political fringe, enjoying no wide public or electoral support. However, according to our estimates, Russian intelligence sees these political forces as a lever over the left-wing voters and is set to engage them in meddling efforts in the wake of worsening social and economic situation in the country. The conference was set to be held in London’s Cornway Hall. At the same time, a few days after receiving the advance payment, the venue managers, having learned about the topic of the conference, snubbed the deal with the Workers Party of Britain. WPB is currently looking for another venue.

On February 11, the Stop the War Coalition intends to hold a rally in support of Julian Assange, a prominent figure linked to Russian intelligence. The report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III amply documents that Assange, with the support of Russian intelligence, played a critical role in the 2016 presidential election. Mike Pompeo, speaking in 2017 as CIA director before becoming secretary of state last year, when he said, “It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a nonstate hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.” It is obvious that this will be a generally anti-American and anti-NATO stunt.