(Stockholm) Russia is carrying out a spy program in northern European waters suspected of using dozens of military and civilian vessels to scout for possible sabotage, according to a documentary released Wednesday by the main Nordic televisions.
The Kremlin immediately brushed aside “errors” and “baseless” accusations, reiterating its call for “a transparent and impartial international investigation” into the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea last September.
According to a joint investigation by NRK (Norway), Dr (Denmark), SVT (Sweden) and Yle (Finland) televisions, which quotes officials from the intelligence services of the Nordic countries, Moscow uses the oceanographic vessel in particular for espionage purposes. Admiral Vladimirsky, officially a science building.
During a mission at the end of 2022, the latter notably sailed near large offshore wind farms off the coast of Denmark and the United Kingdom, suggesting scouting aimed at energy infrastructure.
A team of Dr’s approached in a Zodiac near Admiral Vladimirsky. Two hooded and armed soldiers then came out on deck to let them know they were spotted, according to an extract broadcast by the Danish channel.
Russian intelligence also uses trawlers, cargo ships and even yachts, equipped with underwater or radio surveillance means, according to the state media investigation.
The documentary, dubbed “ The Shadow War ”, cites in particular the suspicious discovery by the Norwegian police of old Soviet radios, with an operator in a locked compartment, aboard Russian trawlers.
In Sweden, 27 of these suspect vessels are said to have sailed in Swedish waters or docked in Swedish ports in the past five years.
In Norway, over a period of ten years, at least 50 Russian boats “have had the possibility of collecting information clandestinely”, according to a count established from their electronic signature AIS (Automatic Identification System), according to NRK.
The documentary, which is due to air on Wednesday evening, prompted an immediate reaction from Moscow, which points to Western responsibility for the spectacular sabotage of the Nord Stream underwater gas pipelines linking Russia to Germany.
“ The media in these countries made a mistake in their investigation. They prefer to again accuse Russia unfounded,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.
“We would prefer that they pay more attention to the attacks on Nord Stream and to a transparent and impartial international investigation into these acts of sabotage,” he said.