The author of a new report which claims there are 75,000 Russian informants in London has claimed the capital city is a "key battleground" for the Kremlin.
In his 'Putin Sees and Hears it all' report, Dr Andrew Foxall, who is the director of Russia and Eurasia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society, claims there are around 200 Russian case officers in London controlling up to 500 secret agents.
The report also says that out of 150,000 Russian ex-pats living in the capital city, 75,000 are working as informants.
Appearing on the Matthew Wright show to discuss his report, Dr Foxall claimed the figures reported were "give or take a five-fold increase from the latter days of the Cold War".
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"These figures give us up to 200 case officers handling upwards of 500 agents. That's give or take a five-fold increase from the latter days of the Cold War where a KGB colonel was a double agent for MI6. He estimated in 1985 there were 39 Soviet case officers, and in 2013 he later updated that estimate to 51," he told Wright.
Dr Foxall added that the high numbers of Russian spies estimated to be in London came as part of Putin's campaign to "change how Russia is viewed".
"It's a key battleground in the sense of President Vladimir Putin's campaign against dissidents and opposition figures dometstically, but also as part of his effort of campaign to change how Russia is viewed in the West.
"It has started to be much more ambitious and adventurous with its intelligence and security agencies. Let's not forget Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned on London streets in 2006."