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

    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.

    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.


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    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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