Britain on red alert after warnings of fresh wave of Russian spy attacks

Russian spooks have launched a fresh wave of potentially deadly ­espionage missions across the UK, British security chiefs have warned.

A secret memo leaked to the Mirror – and issued to Whitehall bosses – calls for military and intelligence officers to be on high alert for Kremlin spies.

MI5 and police intelligence units think Russian diplomats who were not thrown out of the UK after the novichok attacks earlier this year are being mobilised on intelligence missions.

The leaked message urges security and military personnel to record any Russian diplomatic cars spotted in Britain.

It also listed the ­registration numbers of suspected Russian cars, and warned: “We are aware that Russian intelligence officers travel widely throughout the UK and that some of the activity undertaken by these officers is intelligence related.

“The Russian Federation Intelligence Services are assessed to pose a substantial espionage threat to the UK.”

It adds: “The purpose of this alert is to encourage reporting of any chance sighting of Russian diplomatic cars.”

The memo urges officers to note the vehicles’ “registration, date, time and place sighted, direction of travel, ­description and number of occupants”.

In March, the UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats. A senior source told the Mirror that this “absolutely smashed the ­Kremlin’s intelligence-gathering capability”.

They added: “It will take Russia years to build up its capability in the UK, and repeated attempts to begin that process have been stopped. So suspicion falls upon diplomats who remain at the embassy.”

Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 67, and daughter Yulia, 34, survived a novichok attack in Salisbury, Wilts, in March.

In July, Dawn Sturgess, 44, died of exposure to the toxin. Charlie Rowley, 45, was injured. The suspects are Russian agents Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

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