There is growing evidence that Russia’s state security and intelligence agencies are increasingly active beyond its borders. The FSB, GRU, and SVR are all used to support the Kremlin’s broader geopolitical objectives. As well as being used for ‘wet work’ (or assassinations), these agencies are engaged in all manner of activities associated with active measures — the subversive, political warfare originally employed by the KGB during the Cold War. While many countries’ intelligence agencies sometimes undertake such activities, Russia has put these at the centre of its concept of intelligence work.Drawing on interviews with former and current intelligence officials in Russia and the West, as well as members of the Russian diaspora and Westerners consequential to Russian affairs, this talk will examine the activities of Russia’s security and intelligence agencies, with a specific focus on the UK. It will argue that the agencies are locked in a Cold-War mindset, in which what is bad for the West is necessarily good for Russia. At a time when policymakers are seeking to understand Russia’s behaviour, the talk will suggest a number of options for how the West can resist Russia’s security and intelligence agencies while maximising the cost to the Kremlin.
Dr Andrew Foxall has been Director of the Russia and Eurasia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society since 2013 and in 2017 became Director of Research. Previously, Andrew held academic positions at the University of Oxford and Queen’s University Belfast.
Andrew’s research focuses on economic, political and security trends in Russia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of Ethnic Relations in Post-Soviet Russia (Routledge, 2014) and numerous academic articles. He has written for publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Telegraph, Times, Foreign Affairs, TIME, Foreign Policy and the Moscow Times, as well as several other journals and newspapers.
Andrew has also had his commentary carried in the Washington Post, the Observer and elsewhere. He regularly appears on international media outlets, including the BBC, CNBC, CNN and Sky News. Andrew holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford.