After the, thankfully, failed effort to murder the Skripals in Salisbury and other aggressions against us, we often hear about a new ‘Cold War’ with Moscow.
There is a danger that harking back means we misunderstand Russia’s new methods.
This discussion will increase before the World Cup, and maybe more afterwards, when one minister expects some sort of hybrid cyber attack on the UK.
Russia has long been probing our conventional defences for weaknesses, but also has a major cyber-warfare capacity.
We know it seeks to disrupt, destabilise and divide us via social media. But the worst case scenario is knocking out critical infrastructure.
We should understand that Russia sees itself as our enemy and the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Commons has produced a timely and chilling report entitled Moscow’s Gold: Russian Corruption In The UK.
It says Britain is a base for the corrupt assets of Kremlin-connected oligarchs and that is linked to President Putin’s campaign to subvert international rules, undermine our allies and erode the vital networks that support UK foreign policy.
Turning a blind eye to hidden proceeds of Kremlin-connected corruption risks signalling that Britain is not serious about confronting the full spectrum of Putin’s offensive measures, and it proposes many detailed measures to tackle this.
The cross-party committee has rightly alerted us to these dreadful realities. The means of war and external threats are constantly changing and we need to get ahead of the curve for the sake of our national security.