What is MI5 hiding in its secret 60 year-old files?

Scores of MI5 files on two of the most sensational political and security scandals in the history of modern Britain – the Profumo affair and the Cambridge spy ring – were released at the National Archives on Tuesday.  But they are so heavily redacted that it is clear those that would cause the most damage […]

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British intelligence predicted Ukraine war 30 years ago

When British intelligence warned that Vladimir Putin was about to attack Ukraine earlier this year, the spooks’ foresight won many plaudits. Yet their prediction mirrored a scenario Whitehall had long known might unfold. In May 1992, just six months after the Soviet Union broke up, Britain’s then Prime Minister John Major was being briefed by […]

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Explainer: Britain’s proxy war on Russia

The Ukraine conflict is also a British one, given the extensive UK role in the war, with Whitehall supporting Kyiv to repel Russia’s brutal invasion in numerous ways outlined in this Explainer. However, UK governments do not go to war for moral or humanitarian purposes; only for strategic gain. In Ukraine, Whitehall’s main goal is […]

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Ukrainians strip a Russian tank near Kharkiv on 16 May 2022. (Photo: John Moore / Getty)

Does the Ukraine war mean Britain should increase military spending?

Last week Russia celebrated Victory Day, marking the end of the Great Patriotic War, its name for World War Two. Putin’s address made clear that, for him, Ukraine was a conflict between NATO and Russia which would continue until it was won. At the same time as the victory parade in Moscow, Britain’s defence secretary […]

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Liz Truss at the Lord Mayor’s Easter Banquet. (Photo: Dan Kitwood / Getty)

Dangerous ambiguity: UK policy towards Ukraine

For decades many in the West may look back in horrified wonder at the killings of men, women and children, the war crimes and the attacks on hospitals and schools in Ukraine. Was it avoidable? It should have been. Declassified has highlighted Vladimir Putin’s long standing threats over Ukraine and Russia’s special links to the […]

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Vladimir Putin visits Muammar Gadaffi in Libya, 2008. (Photo: Artyom Korotayev / Getty)

Russian mercenaries invited to Libya via Western security firm

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi paid an Australian special forces veteran to help organise the defence of Tripoli during Nato’s bombardment of Libya’s capital in 2011, a book reveals. John Gartner, director of Osprey Asset Management (OAM), claims he arranged for up to 150 South African and Russian mercenaries to support the North African dictator.  However, anti-Gaddafi […]

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Russian soldiers roll through the bombed city of Grozny after intense fighting in the Second Chechen War, 15 February 2000. (Photo: Antoine Gyori/Sygma via Getty Images)

When Tony Blair backed Putin’s brutal war

After Vladimir Putin became president of Russia in 2000, the number of export licences granted by the UK government for equipment with potential military use jumped 550% over six years, Declassified has found. At the time, Putin was waging a brutal war in the breakaway province of Chechnya in Russia’s North Caucasus, involving atrocities which […]

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Robert Dudley (left), then BP’s chief executive, meets with Vladimir Putin in 2011. (Photo: Kremlin)

Under Putin, MI6-linked BP extracted Russian oil worth £271 billion

Britain’s flagship petroleum corporation BP pumped more than 5.5 billion barrels of Russian oil during the rule of Vladimir Putin, after his regime approved BP’s purchase of a host of lucrative assets, Declassified has found.  The oil was pumped between 2002-20 and was worth in excess of £271 billion based on average prices during the […]

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A Vanguard-class submarine moored at Faslane (Photo: Phil Miller / DCUK)

Britain’s nuclear arsenal

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has placed his nuclear forces on high alert and threatened Nato with “consequences they have never seen” if the West tries to stop his illegal invasion of Ukraine. The terrifying threat turned ‘nuclear war’ into one of the most googled terms on Monday morning and prompted rare reflection in the national […]

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There are now fears Putin could invade the rest of Donbas. (Photo: Aris Messinis / AFP via Getty)

As Russian troops cross the border, what’s next for Ukraine?

Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognise the rebel-held territories of Donetsk and Lugansk makes a diplomatic settlement with Ukraine much more difficult, even though its practical impact is to formalise existing Russian support for the rebels. It does not so far extend beyond the line of contact to take in the whole Donbas region which would […]

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Communication towers in Ukraine. Britain financed the installation of 16 radio transmitters in eastern Ukraine to broadcast to Russia-backed rebel regions. (Photo: Anton Petrus / Moment)

UK spends over £80m on media in 20 countries around Russia

The British government is spending tens of millions on media projects in Eastern Europe which are often presented as fighting “Russian disinformation”, but which may involve the UK’s own information operations

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The US reactivates a Cold War-era nuclear artillery unit in Germany, 8 November 2021 (Photo: DoD)

Ukraine crisis: How can peace be secured in Europe?

Diplomats must keep talking to defuse tensions with Russia and negotiate a new pan-European security deal, an international relations expert tells Declassified.

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss rides a tank in Estonia (Photo: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street)

Who’s driving the Russia invasion scare?

Why have the US and the UK chosen to whip up a massive campaign against a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, that makes no sense in mid-winter against a well-equipped and fiercely patriotic Ukraine?

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Vladimir Putin visits a Russian military base in the Arctic (Photo: Kremlin)

UK military plan to counter Russian “threat” in Arctic is three years late

Gavin Williamson claimed in 2018 when he was Britain’s defence secretary that the MOD had a new “Defence Arctic Strategy” that was already being followed by the navy. “Russia, with more submarines operating under the ice and ambitions to build over 100 facilities in the Arctic, are staking a claim and militarising the region,” he […]

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Revealed: UK ignored Chechnya war crimes to push BP’s oil interests as it worked to get Vladimir Putin elected in 2000

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The British government sought, in 2000, to integrate Putin’s Russia into the Western-ruled economic system, despite its brutal military campaign in Chechnya, documents obtained by Declassified show.

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Britain overtakes Russian military spending — but only offers nurses 1% pay rise

Britain’s government is offering healthcare workers a 1% pay rise, which is likely to amount to a pay cut after inflation, at the same time as its military spending has just overtaken Russia to become the world’s fourth-largest defence budget.

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The UK has approved over £200 million worth of exports with potential military use to Russia since the Salisbury poisonings

In the two years since a British citizen died following a chemical attack by Russian military intelligence officers in southern England, the UK government has licenced £232-million worth of controlled equipment to Russia, Declassified UK has found.

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How the UK press supports the British military and intelligence establishment

The UK press, from The Times to The Guardian, is also routinely helping to demonise states identified by the British government as enemies, while tending to whitewash those seen as allies.  The research, which analyses the UK national print media, suggests that the public is being bombarded by views and selective information supporting the priorities […]

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‘The benefits of doing nothing at all’: Why Britain is unlikely to support a ban on Russian mercenaries 

The rise of Russian mercenaries in conflicts across Syria, Ukraine and numerous African countries is concerning the UK’s Ministry of Defence, yet Britain appears unlikely to support a ban on such mercenaries because of its own private security industry.

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