British soldiers warned over Russian agents spying on their phones

British troops are partaking in a massive Nato exercise in countries near Russia (Picture: UK MOD)

British troops are partaking in a massive Nato exercise in countries near Russia (Picture: UK MOD)

British troops taking part in a major Nato military exercise have been warned their phones could be spied on when near Russia.

Troops are currently conducting major land and air exercises as a part of Operation Steadfast Defender, the largest Nato military exercise since the Cold War.

Thousands of soldiers have been deployed to countries bordering Russia – including Estonia – where British troops have been told Russian spies could carry out an ‘electric collect’ of data on their phones.

The Times reported Lieutenant Colonel Grant Brown said: ‘We must be under no illusions. Russia will be watching us as we prepare, as we deploy and as we are operating in Europe.

‘That’s a good thing, it is the whole point of this deployment. But it will mean a rigorous approach to things like the use of mobile phones while out in theatre.

‘We must expect Russian agents to be conducting an electronic collect on us while there, so the measures we will have in place are designed to protect all of us.’

Air and land exercises are underway (Picture: UK MOD)

But British forces in Estonia have rules in place to help lower the threat level from Russian spies – such as leaving their phones in dorms during exercises, and turning off geo-tagging.

The warning from Lieutenant Colonel Brown comes amid increased worries of Russian interference in European life.

Russia has been accused of targeting civilian aircraft recently with electronic jamming – wiping out their GPS systems and other vital navigational tools.

Between August 2023 and March 2024 alone, 46,000 flights in areas such as the Baltic, Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean logged interference issues.

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Chatham House Russian expert Keir Giles, who is familiar with planes, told that disrupting electronic systems is one way Russia can practise for war with Nato.

And in March, Ukrainian national security adviser Oleksiy Danilov warned that Germany is full of a ‘new generation’ of Russian spies, putting officials in a vulnerable position.

His warning came after the ‘worst’ leak of British military secrets since the Cold War.

In December, parliament heard Russia’s security service compromised private phones of government employees and journalists to interfere with UK political processes.

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Source:: Metro


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