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MI5, MI6 and GCHQ recruit Russian-speaking spies in wake of Putin's war with Ukraine

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 08/09/2022 Elizabeth Haigh For Mailonline

Advanced Russian speakers are being sought by the UK's top security agencies in a Bond-style 'spy' recruitment drive amid the war in Ukraine.

The UK's security services MI5, MI6 and GCHQ are all seeking to recruit Russian-speaking language analysts to help combat threats such as cyber attacks and espionage.

Hopefuls can expect a salary ranging from £30,831 per year if based at GCHQ, or £36,350 per year if employed by MI5 or MI6.

But applicants must have C1 Russian, equivalent to degree level, and can expect a long process which could take up to nine months including vetting.

Security services are only looking to hire British nationals, or those who hold dual British citizenship. 

Successful applicants could play a leading role in developing UK policy, driving forward security investigations, identifying important information and even handling the services' agents.

It comes amid high tensions across Europe following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine in February of this year. 

Applicants to work at MI5, MI6 or GCHQ (pictured) must have a level of C1 in Russian - equivalent to having studied it at degree level © Provided by Daily Mail Applicants to work at MI5, MI6 or GCHQ (pictured) must have a level of C1 in Russian - equivalent to having studied it at degree level The Russian recruitment drive comes amid high tensions due to war in Ukraine after Putin invaded the country in February © Provided by Daily Mail The Russian recruitment drive comes amid high tensions due to war in Ukraine after Putin invaded the country in February

Roles at MI5 and MI6 are based in London, and roles at GCHQ are based in Cheltenham. 

GCHQ gathers and monitors huge amounts of intelligence from around the world.

The UK government says working at any of three agencies is an opportunity to 'safeguard Britain's people, interests and businesses from various threats at home, overseas and online, including cyber-attacks, espionage, terrorism, and organised crime.'

The job advert reads: 'What mark would you give your Russian? If you answered 'пятерку', we want you to use your skills to protect the UK. 

'The Intelligence Agencies are offering you an exciting opportunity to put your Russian an expertise to valuable use in one of our organisations.'

It adds: 'You'll use your language and analytical skills to provide intelligence insights that often have direct impact on UK government policy and decision-making.

'Your challenge is to seek out the important information from Russian language material and make that material accessible and understandable to others.

'You'll play an active role in directing projects and driving forward investigations, working right at the heart of intelligence.

'It's gripping work, which will draw on your judgement, people skills and linguistic and cultural expertise every step of the way.'

Applicants must also have good translation skills, as well as knowledge of 'Russian culture, history, politics, ideology and economy.'

The advert concludes: 'You also need to combine this with an analytical, enquiring mind, possess good judgement and effective people skills.'

There is a Russian audio clip attached to the job advert for would-be analysts to test whether their Russian proficiency is good enough. 

Employees can expect 25 days of annual leave, flexible working opportunities and on-site perks such as a subsidized gym. 

The need for Russian language analysts has increased since Putin invaded Ukraine in February of this year.

The UK has been highly supportive of Ukraine since the conflict began and has sent billions of pounds of aid to the country.

This includes £2.3 billion in military aid, plus promises to train 10,000 Ukrainian troops, as well as humanitarian aid. 

Russian progress is said to have stalled in the country as the nation's army struggles with morale, a lack of equipment, food and water.

Meanwhile Ukraine claims to have made significant progress in recent days in fighting back in Russian-occupied Donetsk region. 

The UK has also imposed strict sanctions on Russia along with most of the western world, most recently agreeing a cap on Russian oil prices with the other G7 nations in a bid to damage the Russian economy.

Putin has responded to the UK's actions by placing sanctions on UK MPs including banning them from visiting the country, as well as increasingly cutting off its gas supply to the rest of Europe.

Last weekend the country's state-owned energy company Gazprom announced its Nord Stream 1 pipeline indefinitely - supposedly due to an oil leak.

But the move was seen by the west as a deliberate retaliation to the G7's decision, as energy experts Siemens, who had previously serviced the pipeline, said an oil leak would not lead to a full end to supply.

German officials branded the move 'psychological warfare'. 

It is currently unclear whether the pipeline will reopen, threatening to push already spiraling energy prices even higher.

The Home Office has been contacted for comment. 

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