Putin could cut UK's Internet in DAYS as Russia poised to send warships to Irish coast

The Russian President is reportedly eyeing up Ireland’s maritime economic zone with a plot to send naval troops 240km off the southwest coast of Ireland. Irish Defence Forces Reservist Robert Gilbey has mentioned that the area identified by Russia was “ideal for protecting a submarine”. It comes as Russia look posed to invade Ukraine as military tension heats up at the Russia-Ukraine border with the piling up of 100,000 Russian troops.

But Mr Gibley also warned that this is not the first time a Russian operation near the British Isles has sparked panic.

Back in 2017, as well as in the summer of 2021, a Russian spy ship that can allegedly cut undersea cables was also spotted off the Irish coastline.

Mr Putin’s Yantar vessel, which was seen north of Mayo and Donegal, was right by a commercial sub-sea cable.

These cables carry huge volumes of Internet traffic – emails, images, files, data and communications between Europe and the US.

Companies like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Google rely on the cables to transmit vast amounts of data from Irish servers around the world.

Eight of those link to Britain, and four to the US.

But if Russia was to cut those cables, there are fears that the internet could go out.

And some Russian ships supposedly have robotic arms that can tamper with or even cut key cables.

The Yantar vessel was reportedly loaded with manned and remote-operated submersibles which are used to attach listening devices to the undersea cables.

Mr Coveney has raised his concerns about the Kremlin’s exercises to Russia’s ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov.

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In fact, the cables are supposed to be the garda force’s responsibility, under the 2004 Maritime Security Act.

But it reportedly has no capability to fulfil the role.

John Brady, Sinn Fein’s spokesman on defence, said: “There are vessels entering Ireland’s exclusive economic zone which we don’t have the ability to monitor.

“We have no idea what is happening below the surface. We don’t know if devices are being fitted to these data cables or if they are being interfered with.”

John Sipher, a former CIA officer and now a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, said it was “naive” to think that Russia would not tamper with these cables.

He added: “Russian intelligence and subversion is ongoing and relentless. No amount of engagement or appeasement works, or has ever worked.

“Putin is engaged in a form of political warfare against the West and stealing information is just one part of a larger attack.”

Mr Coveney warned that Russia’s latest look similar to the spy ship sighting back in 2017.

He warned: “What’s interesting is that this exercise box is 170 nautical miles off the south coast of Ireland.

“Incidentally, so was a suspicious Russian trawler suspected of deploying submersibles back in July 2021 170nm away. Could that previous event have been sub-surface reconnaissance?

“Others may recall that the Russians flew their ASW TU-142 Bears over that location in March 2020 too. Perhaps that was a subsurface signal mapping exercise? Testing reactions, or lack there of?”

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