UK intelligence chief asks Russians to spy on their country

Richard Moore, the Chief of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, answers questions on November 30, 2021.
Richard Moore, the Chief of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, answers questions on November 30, 2021. Copyright Matt Dunham/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved
By Sudesh Baniya
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Richard Moore appeared in a rare conversation to comment on the war in Ukraine, UK's AI use in spying and China's silence.


The head of UK's secret intelligence service has asked Russians unhappy with the war in Ukraine to "join hands" in its efforts to end the bloodshed. 

Speaking to Politico at the British embassy in Prague, MI6's chief Richard Moore invited Russians to spy on their own country.

"I invite them to do what others have done this past 18 months and join hands with us," Moore said on Wednesday. "Their secrets will be safe with us and together we will work to bring the bloodshed to an end." 

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has strictly warned against spying on Russia, with convicted civilians getting a 20-year sentence. 

The move mirrors the CIA's efforts in May to get unhappy Russians to reveal secrets about their country. 

US intelligence agency released a video on Telegram, urging people to tell the truth about the Russian regime. 

“Contact us. Perhaps the people around you don’t want to hear the truth. We want to,” the agency said. 

Moore also revealed UK spies were using advanced AI to track and limit the weapon supplies to Moscow. He said the West should have the upper hand in the "ethical and safe use of AI." 

Civilians can help in feeding bulk data, which coupled with AI can further help in curbing weapon supply, he said, warning Russian authorities are also using it to their advantage. 

“It will be a significant part of our role going forward into the future, to try and detect, uncover, and then disrupt people who would like to develop AI in directions which are dangerous,” the MI6 chief added.

Ukrainian counteroffensive has been difficult so far, yet was successful to put Putin's regime – now exposed by Wagner's mutiny – under pressure, according to Moore.

He also slammed China for supporting the Russian war, blaming Xi Jinping of "repeating Russian tropes." 

China's defeating silence has now made MI6 dedicate more resources to "understand both the intent and capability of the Chinese government," he added.  

Moore's comments are likely to cause a stir in both Kremlin and Beijing, with both sides expected to respond angrily.

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