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Russian Intelligence Finds ‘British Council’ Is a Front for MI6

The FSB, the Russian security service, reports on British intelligence presence in the Russian-controlled Kherson region formerly of Ukraine under the auspices of the “British Council,” ostensibly set up to promote scientific and cultural exchanges. A Ukrainian nationalist, who had been caught up in this network, became disenchanted and spilled the beans to the FSB. The individual had been in touch with Ukrainian refugees in Great Britain, who were sharing information he had given them with the British Council. The FSB is now investigating whatever networks they may still have in the newly occupied region.

The organization, long banned in Russia, has been particularly active in Ukraine. Even in the pre-Maidan era, British Council offices operated in Kiev, Lvov, Odessa, Kharkov, and Donetsk. Specializing in teaching English, they have used these fronts as a recruiting base for Western intelligence services. They had served the same purpose in Russia after the Berlin Wall came down, but were closed down in all Russian cities, except Moscow, in the mid-2000s. The Moscow office was then closed in 2018.

They are no doubt even more active in today’s Ukraine and may also have networks in those parts of Ukraine annexed by Russia. The FSB is conducting investigations into this matter.