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  1. ITV Report

Russia threat to UK's energy supply could kill 'thousands' warns defence secretary

Gavin Williamson has accused Russia of spying on the UK's energy supply. Credit: AP/PA

Russia could cause "thousands and thousands" of deaths with an attack on Britain's vital energy supply, the defence secretary has warned.

Gavin Williamson said Russia posed a "real threat" as he accused Moscow of spying on the UK's critical infrastructure including power stations and interconnectors - cables that transfer electricity across borders.

He said Russia could unleash "chaos" with a cyber attack, undersea activity or a missile launch on the UK.

Questioning why the country would be researching the UK's energy supply, he told the Daily Telegraph: "It is because they are saying, 'these are the ways we can hurt Britain'."

He said: "The plan for the Russians won't be for landing craft to appear in the South Bay in Scarborough, and off Brighton Beach.

"They are going to be thinking, 'How can we just cause so much pain to Britain?

"Damage its economy, rip its infrastructure apart, actually cause thousands and thousands and thousands of deaths, but actually have an element of creating total chaos within the country'."