Russia's cyber defence
Russian military is creating a separate cyber warfare arm - Reuters

Russia is beefing up its cyber security by creating a separate cyber warfare wing under the military.

The army perceives that the internet could become the new theatre of war, says a senior Russian official in the Research and Development wing of the military.

Speaking to Russia's Echo Moskvy radio, Andrei Grigoryev, chief of the newly-created Foundation of Advanced Military Research, said: "The decision to create a cyber-security command and a new branch of the armed forces has already been made."

He said officials were working on the structure of the programme.

The Foundation of Advanced Military Research, the Russian equivalent of Washington's Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) came into being in October 2012. The agency has been tasked with briefing the Kremlin about Russia's defence capabilities and is also engaged in streamlining the weapons procurement programme.

"The agency will provide support for both fundamental research and high-risk projects. We have so many breakthrough projects gathering dust that if we implement only a small part of them we will see a revolutionary leap in Russia's development," said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin while setting up the foundation.

Since its inception, the military agency is believed to have reviewed more than 700 potential projects. Russia has injected 2.3bn roubles (£45m) into the foundation for 2013.

Many countries including Germany and India have invested heavily in cyber security measures in recent months in the wake of the Edward Snowden-related disclosures.