UK faces ‘disastrous’ scenario if Russia cuts off vital links, experts warn

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Picture the scenario: Far out of sight of land, in the remotest parts of the North Sea, a fleet of miniature submarines and frogmen slip unnoticed from the decks of Russian spy ships and make their way to the seabed.

Here they find the arteries that keep the UK alive: Cables and pipes that carry everything from gas to electricity, banking data to military communications.

Then, all at once, the links are cut.

It may seem far-fetched, but fears are growing that the Kremlin is preparing for just such an attack after Russian vessels were caught snooping on Britain’s shores earlier this year, with British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warning on Thursday that Russia has ‘the intent and the ability’ to sabotage the West’s critical infrastructure.

And experts warn such an attack would be ‘disastrous’ for the UK, putting lives at risk as hospitals lost power, wiping billions off the economy as banks were unplugged from the global system, cutting off remote communities, and potentially sparking riots.