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Norwegian undersea surveillance network capable of detecting submarines has cables mysteriously cut as police are called in to investigate - while suspicion swirls that Russia may have 'sabotaged' the equipment

  A Norwegian undersea surveillance network that is capable of detecting submarines has had its cables mysteriously cut. Police were called ...

 A Norwegian undersea surveillance network that is capable of detecting submarines has had its cables mysteriously cut.

Police were called in to investigate amid suspicion Russia could have 'sabotaged' the undersea sensors, which predominantly monitor fish but can pick up the movement of submarines.

The cables were cut and then disappeared, with the Institute of Marine Research describing 'extensive damage' to the outer area of the Lofoten-Vesterålen (LoVe) Ocean Observatory.

LoVe consists of a network of underwater cables and sensors located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, an area of strategic interest for both Norway and Russia.

LoVe, which was only declared fully operational in August 2020, has been offline since the outage in April.

Police were called in to investigate amid suspicion Russia could have 'sabotaged' the undersea sensors, which predominantly monitor fish but can pick up the movement of submarines. Pictured, the surveillance network

Police were called in to investigate amid suspicion Russia could have 'sabotaged' the undersea sensors, which predominantly monitor fish but can pick up the movement of submarines. Pictured, the surveillance network

Norway's military and the country's Police Security Service are allegedly investigating what could have happened to the research surveillance system, which is in place to monitor the effects of climate change.

It measures methane emissions and fish stocks, providing scientists with a live feed of imagery, sound and other data. 

Data gathered by its sensors, which can also pick up submarine activity, is first sent to the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI).


'FFI is believed to routinely remove traces of any submarine activity in the area before turning over the observatory’s data to IMR so that it only contains fishing, currents, and climate information,' according to a report from Norway’s News in English website. 

'We don’t care so much about the submarines in the area (located not far from onshore military installations at Andøya, Evenes and other bases in Northern Norway), but we know the military is,' IMR director Sissel Rogne told the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv. 

'You could see what’s going on down there regarding all types of U-boats [submarines] and all other countries’ U-boats.'

In a press statement last Friday Geir Pedersen, the LoVe project leader, said 'something or someone has torn out cables in outlying areas'.

More than 2.5miles of LoVe's 40 miles of fiber optic and electrical cables were removed, reports claimed.

An unmanned submarine traced the cause to Node 2, a surveillance platform 820 feet underwater that was dragged away from its normal location. Another mission in September found Node 3 had also been moved and its cables were missing

An unmanned submarine traced the cause to Node 2, a surveillance platform 820 feet underwater that was dragged away from its normal location. Another mission in September found Node 3 had also been moved and its cables were missing


And the observatory has been affected by interference since at least last April, according to reports in the Dagens Næringsliv.

That was when the connection between the sensor network and the control station at Hovden on the northern island of Langøya was lost. 

An unmanned submarine traced the cause to Node 2, a surveillance platform 820 feet underwater that was dragged away from its normal location.

Another mission in September found Node 3 had also been moved and its cables were missing.

Rogne told Dagens Næringsliv whatever vessel severed it would need considerable power because of the cables' size and weight. 

Around 9.5 tonnes of cable remains missing, as IMR’s Øystein Brun claimed it was likely they were cut deliberately.

The damage could not have been an accident, Rogne claimed, because a vessel would notice dislodging the cables and would have reported it. 

But any vessel that could have tampered with the cables could be untraceable because its transponder would likely be off, meaning it wasn't transmitting its position to the Coast Guard. 

It comes as British soldiers have been deployed to the Polish border with Belarus yesterday as tensions in Eastern Europe threatened to spill over.

The escalating migrant crisis at the edge of the EU triggered a rapid military build-up in the region, with Russian paratroopers touching down on the opposite side of the border.

The deployment of Royal Engineers on a reconnaissance mission came as a pair of Kremlin nuclear-capable bombers forced the RAF to defend British airspace.

Vladimir Putin was also warned against making a 'serious mistake' after America said satellite images of troops suggested Russia could be planning to invade Ukraine.

The small forward party of British soldiers, thought to number about ten, will help Polish forces strengthen their border with Belarus, where as many as 4,000 migrants, mainly from Iraq, Syria and Yemen, have gathered hoping to cross into Europe.

The escalating migrant crisis at the edge of the EU triggered a rapid military build-up in the region, with Russian paratroopers touching down on the opposite side of the border

The escalating migrant crisis at the edge of the EU triggered a rapid military build-up in the region, with Russian paratroopers touching down on the opposite side of the border

Belarus started building camps yesterday to house those who have spent night after night sleeping in freezing forests with little food

Belarus started building camps yesterday to house those who have spent night after night sleeping in freezing forests with little food

Belarus started building camps yesterday to house those who have spent night after night sleeping in freezing forests with little food.

Katarzyna Zdanowicz, spokesman for Poland's border guards in the eastern Podlasie region, said 'The scale of the problem is not diminishing.'

She said Belarusian forces had brought wood and water to migrant camps on the border, adding: 'We can see they are preparing for a longer stay.'

Another 15,000 migrants are thought to be in Belarus and heading for the border, having been brought in from the Middle East to flood into Europe by president Alexander Lukashenko in revenge for EU sanctions.

Moscow, a key Lukashenko ally, has been accused of helping to fuel the crisis.

As the Royal Engineers arrived in the region, hundreds of Russian paratroopers jumped from military aircraft into Belarus. They conducted tactical rehearsals 25 miles from the flashpoint at the border. The Russian defence ministry said the troops, two of whom died, flew home after the exercise, which was interpreted as a show of support for Lukashenko.

Another 15,000 migrants are thought to be in Belarus and heading for the border, having been brought in from the Middle East to flood into Europe by president Alexander Lukashenko in revenge for EU sanctions

Another 15,000 migrants are thought to be in Belarus and heading for the border, having been brought in from the Middle East to flood into Europe by president Alexander Lukashenko in revenge for EU sanctions

Last night, Tory former defence minister Tobias Ellwood backed the Ministry of Defence's demonstration of solidarity with Poland.

He said: 'Nato states will need to act swiftly to stay ahead of the threat, while countries which share borders with Russia will require further support.

'Any failure to do so would be interpreted as weak behaviour by President Putin.

'He could absolutely invade Ukraine. It is a reflection of just how weak the West has become.'

America warned European leaders this week that Russia may be about to invade Ukraine, having annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in 2014. The warning was based on satellite images showing tens of thousands of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Moscow would commit a 'serious mistake' if any of the 90,000 Russian troops positioned to march into Ukraine did so.

Last night, Tory former defence minister Tobias Ellwood backed the Ministry of Defence's demonstration of solidarity with Poland

Last night, Tory former defence minister Tobias Ellwood backed the Ministry of Defence's demonstration of solidarity with Poland

He assured Kiev this week that Washington's commitment to Ukraine's security was 'iron-clad'.

He said yesterday: 'We don't know Russia's intentions. But we do know that we've seen in the past – Russia mass forces on Ukraine's borders, claim some kind of provocation by Ukraine, and then invade. That's what they did in 2014.'

France urged Russia to use its ties with Belarus to bring the migrant crisis to an end, and warned that any Russian threat to Ukraine would have 'serious consequences'. The EU expressed alarm at Russia's activities by Ukraine's border.

Belarus said it was ready to defend itself, accusing Poland of an 'unprecedented' military build-up on the border, with 15,000 troops and guards backed by tanks, air defences and other weapons. Defence minister Viktor Khrenin added: 'Belarus armed forces are ready to respond harshly to any attacks.'

Turkey said yesterday that Iraqis, Syrians and Yemenis would no longer be allowed on flights to Belarus. Iraq also stopped direct journeys, and said it would repatriate Iraqis in Belarus.  

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