Following the end of the Second World War, relations between the Soviet and the Western bloc deteriorated quickly. British prime minister Churchill said that the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe was like 'an iron curtain'. Relations were generally tense during the ensuing Cold War, typified by spying and other covert activities. The British and American Venona project was established in 1942 for cryptanalysis of messages sent by Soviet intelligence. Soviet spies were later discovered in Britain, such as Kim Philby and the Cambridge Five spy ring, which was operating in England until 1963. The Soviet spy agency, the KGB, was suspected of the murder of Georgi Markov in London in 1978. A High ranking KGB official, Oleg Gordievsky, defected to London in 1985.
British prime minister Margaret Thatcher pursued a strong anti-communist policy in concert with Ronald Reaganduring the 1980s, in contrast with the détente policy of the 1970s, although relations became warmer after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in 1985.
After the collapse of the USSR, relations between Britain and the new Russian Federation were initially warm. In the 21st century, however, while trade and human ties have proliferated, diplomatic ties have suffered due to allegations of spying, and extradition disputes; thus escalating political tensions between London and Moscow.
The Foundations of Geopolitics, a Russian textbook published in 1997, has been one of the most influential books among Russian military, police, and statist foreign policy elites. The book argues that Russia must isolate the United Kingdom from the politics of continental Europe.
In 2003, Russia requested the extradition of "tycoon" Boris Berezovsky and Chechen separatist Akhmed Zakayev, but Britain refused, having given them both political asylum.
In early 2006, Russia accused UK diplomats of espionage. Along with accusing British diplomats of spying in Moscow with the help...
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