The Henry Jackson Society (HJS) has published a report claiming up to half of Russian expats in the UK could be “informants” for the Kremlin, attracting ridicule.
The neocon think-tank’s report, titled “Putin Sees and Hears It All: How Russia’s Intelligence Agencies Menace The UK,” claims interviewees said “anywhere between a quarter and a half of Russian expats [in Britain] were, or have been, informants” for Russia’s various intelligence services.
In total, just 16 “on-and off-the-record conversations” were held with apparent informed sources and experts by the report’s author, Dr. Andrew Foxall, to arrive at the aforementioned conclusion.
Interviews were apparently conducted with “individuals who currently occupy, or previously occupied, positions of influence and power, particularly those who are consequential to Russian affairs.”
Unsurprisingly, the report has been criticized and mocked, with experts and social media users slamming the Henry Jackson Society for basing its claim on such a small sample size.
A sloppy rephrasing of the actual @HJS_Org report @Billbrowder. Of those interviewed many “suggested that anywhere between a quarter and a half of Russian expats were, or have been, informants” which authors admit reflects paranoia among Russian expats https://t.co/DkIJpuC7p5 https://t.co/FZeAhhUlfO— Ola McLees (@OlaMcLees) November 5, 2018
It's not only ridiculous (because only one person has been named, which is the exact point here) but also the study, doesn't specify pool, inquiry method, nor any definition of informer. Furthermore it is a study from HJS; which in the past has been outed as borderline xenophobic— TripleTroll (@TriTro29) November 5, 2018
A former student of the report’s author even described himself as “very disappointed” for the poor research, while others questioned the thinktanks “opaque” funding and motive for publishing such an unfounded claim.
Today the Henry Jackson Society jumped the shark: "Out of an estimated population of 150,000 Russian ex-pats living in London, up to half are said to be FSB, GRU, or SVR informants – potentially, some 75,000 assets." Very disappointed by former student who authored this report— Jeremy Morris (@russophiliac) November 5, 2018
Quite frankly, I'm more interested in finding out about the Henry Jackson Society's opaque funding, and who is paying for this, before I'm interested in hearing what they have to say.https://t.co/chtsTdTc2Xhttps://t.co/XIRne9GdRI— Clint Warren (@ClintWarren6) November 5, 2018
Despite skepticism, numerous outlets, including The Daily Mail, financial newspaper City A.M., and The Times, have blindly cited the report to spew more anti-Russian agenda.