3 episodes

What do assassinations, cyber hacks and disinformation have in common? They’re all weapons used by states against each other in a grey zone of harm that sits - deliberately - under the threshold of war, but could be just as dangerous if ignored.

Sky News journalist Deborah Haynes explores this often invisible battlefield, where anything can be - and is - used as a weapon and anyone, anywhere can be a target.

Into The Grey Zone Sky News

    • News
    • 4.5 • 165 Ratings

What do assassinations, cyber hacks and disinformation have in common? They’re all weapons used by states against each other in a grey zone of harm that sits - deliberately - under the threshold of war, but could be just as dangerous if ignored.

Sky News journalist Deborah Haynes explores this often invisible battlefield, where anything can be - and is - used as a weapon and anyone, anywhere can be a target.

    Episode Two: Truth vs Lies

    Episode Two: Truth vs Lies

    This episode explores a battle between truth and lies that’s threatening democracies around the world. It looks at how information is used as a weapon, not just by hostile foreign states, seeking to divide and weaken rival nations, but also by domestic politicians and other actors.

    Sky News journalist Deborah Haynes speaks to the author of a book on the history of disinformation, Professor Thomas Rid , who talks about fake news during the Cold War and warns about the risk of political violence today when people can no longer agree on facts.

    It’s a warning that played out on the streets of Washington DC in January when supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol building, spurred on by a false belief that Joe Biden had stolen his way to victory in the 2020 presidential election.

    Deborah also visits one of the UK’s best-known fighters of suspected Russian and Chinese fake news, who battles online trolls from his remote cottage in Scotland. And if you think that sounds strange, remember, in the grey zone, the frontline is everywhere!

    Interviews:
    Thomas Rid, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University, author of Active Measures – the secret history of disinformation and political warfare
    Linas Linkevicius, foreign minister of Lithuania until December 2020
    Keir Giles, author of a handbook on Russian information warfare for NATO, senior consulting fellow at Chatham House
    Daniel Jones, founder and president of Advance Democracy
    Ben Nimmo, head of investigations at Graphika
    Ben Wallace, United Kingdom’s defence secretary
    Kate Jones, director of Oxford University’s diplomatic studies programme.

    Credits:
    Written and narrated by Deborah Haynes
    Edited and produced by Chris Scott
    Production support from Sophia McBride and Victoria Seabrook
    Additional voices provided by Cayetano Delgado
    The head of Sky News Radio is Dave Terris

    • 47 min
    Episode One: The Gathering Storm

    Episode One: The Gathering Storm

    This episode seeks to explain what the grey zone is. It includes a warning from General Sir Nick Carter, the head of the UK’s armed forces, and Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, about the danger of ignoring attacks in this murky space, while Lieutenant General Graeme Lamb, a former director of UK special forces, warns: “We’re being boiled like a frog!”

    Sky News journalist Deborah Haynes then travels to Salisbury with the widow of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko to visit the site of one of the most high profile grey zone attacks – the poisoning of another ex-Russian agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia.

    Lord Mark Sedwill, a former national security adviser, talks about how he led the UK’s response to nerve agent poisoning and the fake news that followed.

    Finally, Eliot Higgins, founder of the investigative website Bellingcat, describes how he and his team revealed the true identities of the Russian military intelligence officers named by the UK as prime suspects in the attempted assassination. Russia denies involvement.

    Interviews:

    General Sir Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff

    Ben Wallace, defence secretary

    Lord Mark Sedwill, former UK national security adviser, former cabinet secretary

    Lieutenant General (retired) Graeme Lamb, former director of UK special forces

    Marina Litvinenko, widow of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko

    Eliot Higgins, founder of the investigative website Bellingcat

    Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, former commanding officer of the UK’s Joint, Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment

    Credits:
    Written and narrated by Deborah Haynes
    Edited and produced by Chris Scott
    Production support from Sophia McBride and Victoria Seabrook
    Additional voices provided by Cayetano Delgado
    The head of Sky News Radio is Dave Terris

    • 48 min
    Introducing Into the Grey Zone

    Introducing Into the Grey Zone

    What do assassinations, cyber hacks and disinformation have in common? They’re all weapons used by states against each other in a grey zone of harm that sits - deliberately - under the threshold of war, but could be just as dangerous if ignored.

    Sky News journalist Deborah Haynes explores this often invisible battlefield, where anything can be - and is - used as a weapon and anyone, anywhere can be a target.

    The series examines grey zone assaults; from the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the UK and the killing of a nuclear scientist in Iran; to attempts to influence elections in the United States; and a suspected North Korean cyber-attack on the NHS.

    The podcast also includes interviews with spies and military chiefs who warn about the threat to daily life if attacks in the grey zone go unpunished.

    In the words of one former head of the UK’s special forces: “We’re being boiled like a frog!”

    Credits:
    Written and narrated by Deborah Haynes
    Edited and produced by Chris Scott
    Production support from Sophia McBride and Victoria Seabrook
    Additional voices provided by Cayetano Delgado
    The head of Sky News Radio is Dave Terris

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
165 Ratings

165 Ratings

jordanscott_93 ,

A fascinating, terrifying listen

Sky News again producing another brilliant podcast. Can’t wait for Episode 3!

MrRobsoni ,

Looking forward for next episode

Interesting

Aunty Lockdown Alison ,

Yorkshire Lass

Fantastic insight into a quietly creeping threat to western democracies. Ignore it at our peril. Like one commentator warns: we are being boiled like a frog! Don’t let’s be complacent and let’s be very aware of a possible Third World War.

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