Russia plans to use spies, sleeper agents in the community and people posing as Ukrainian refugees to carry out attacks on British Army, RAF and Navy facilities, according to former spy Boris Karpichkov. Mr Karpichkov, who has been branded a traitor in Russia after it emerged he worked for the CIA and Latvian security services during his time with the KGB and FSB, claimed targets had been identified from Scotland to Salisbury, where ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with Novichok in March 2018 in a failed Kremlin assassination.
Mr Karpichkov said the targets were leaked to him by a current Russian security services source and include the former RAF Leuchars base at St Andrews, now used by the British Army, the Tidworth military bases near Salisbury and the Army barracks within the town, and RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.
He claimed other identified targets were naval units at Portsmouth and near Plymouth, and HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
The most sinister target on the list was the Ministry of Defence Porton Down science laboratory, he said.
Last month Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed the Kremlin had legitimate grounds to launch attacks on military targets of Nato countries that were supplying weapons to Ukraine.
Britain is seen as one of the biggest suppliers, with our missiles confirmed as bringing down Russian helicopters since the invasion began on February 24.
Ms Zakharova said: “Do we understand correctly that, for the sake of disrupting the logistics of military supplies, Russia can strike military targets on the territory of those Nato countries that supply arms to the Kyiv regime?
“After all, this directly leads to deaths and bloodshed on Ukrainian territory. As far as I understand, Britain is one of those countries.”
Mr Karpichkov’s source told him “sabotage terrorist” strikes in the UK were being planned using drones and ground attacks, mainly at night, with the aim of making it look like a spontaneous combustion or accident at an ammunition depot.
Embassy staff, their informers and members of the Russian diaspora would be deployed to stake out the targets he claimed.
In a message to Mr Karpichkov translated from Russian, his source warned: “The possibilities of delivering retaliatory ‘shock pain’ strikes on the infrastructure of designated military facilities in Britain were previously studied on Putin’s personal orders. The retribution operation is in its final stages.
“The active transfer of Russian agents pretending to be refugees from Ukraine is being carried out mainly through Latvia and Lithuania.
“It is planned to carry out a sabotage operation there [Porton Down] during which either an accidental spontaneous combustion or self-explosion of chemical warfare would be carried out which initiates a release into the area.”