Russian sabotage in place to strand Nordics in event of war, claims documentary

New documentary, available for streaming on DRTV from this evening, to reveal the full extent of the espionage

From this evening, the public will be able to watch a new documentary co-funded by DR that lifts the lid on ongoing Russian espionage in the Nordic region. 

It reveals how the country’s military program is using ‘ghost boats’ to obtain an overview of the region’s infrastructure, mapping gas pipelines, significant cables, and offshore wind farms in the waters around Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden.

The risk is that Russia could use the knowledge to sabotage the region by cutting off power supplies and severing key cables.

Withholding their location
A joint operation by Nordic broadcasters DR, NRK, SVT and Yle intercepted radio communications from the Russian Navy, which confirmed operations that involve the ‘ghost ships’ turning off their AIS transmitters to withhold their location.

In one such case in November, DR was able to confirm the location of the Russian naval vessel ‘Admiral Vladimirsky’ in Danish waters by intercepting its radio messages with a naval base in Russia. 

DR reporters approached the vessel just north of Sjællands Odde on the northwestern tip of the island, where they were confronted by armed personnel.

Espionage could paralyse Danish society
Anders Henriksen, a counterintelligence chief at the PET intelligence agency, believes the sabotage is a distinct possibility should Russia enter into a war with the West.

“In the event of a conflict with the West, they are ready and know where to intervene if they want to paralyse Danish society,” he told DR.

“This is a very important strategic capacity directly controlled by Moscow,” added Nils Andreas Stensønes, the head of Pet’s Norwegian counterpart, NIS.

The first episode of ‘Skyggekrigen’ (the shadow war) is available for streaming on DRTV from 21:25.