29 Jan 2018

Defence Secretary highlights Russian threat to infrastructure

The Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has warned that Russia could target UK infrastructure causing “thousands and thousands and thousands of deaths”.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Mr Williamson accused Russia of researching how the UK’s critical infrastructure connects to the continent with a view to spreading “panic” and “chaos”.

The UK has four undersea connections for electricity and three for gas supplies linked to the continent.

The Defence Secretary told the newspaper: “The plan for the Russians won’t be for landing craft to appear in the South Bay in Scarborough, and off Brighton Beach.

“What they are looking at doing is they are going to be thinking ‘How can we just cause so much pain to Britain?’. Damage its economy, rip its infrastructure apart, actually cause thousands and thousands and thousands of deaths, but actually have an element of creating total chaos within the country.”

Mr Williamson said that the only reason Russia would take photographs of power stations and interconnectors was to analyse ways to inflict pain on Britain.

He commented: “If we lost our interconnectors, which would be something that we know that they are looking at, there would be three million homes without electricity. In a few years time there will be eight million homes that would be dependent.

“If you could imagine the domestic and industrial chaos that this would actually cause. What they would do is cause the chaos and then step back. This is the real threat that I believe the country is facing at the moment.”

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