THERE is “credible” commentary suggesting Russia undertook influence campaigns relating to 2014’s independence referendum, according to the Intelligence and Security Committee’s long-awaited report.

The section on Scotland is heavily redacted, but points to “credible open source commentary” suggesting there was Russian interference.

As an example, the committee says it was “widely reported after that referendum that Russian election observers had suggested that there were irregularities in the conduct of the vote”.

They say “this position was widely pushed” by Russian state media, adding the Westminster Government saw this as an attempt to discredit the UK “in the eyes of a domestic Russian audience”.

READ MORE: Russia report: What it says about Scotland's independence referendum

The SNP’s foreign affairs spokesperson said he has no doubts that there are “bad actors” active in the Scottish debate online.

Alyn Smith told The National he had commissioned research which found 6-8% of Scottish Twitter is “phony”.

He suggested there was a range of interferences in multiple directions.

So what does Vladimir Putin think about Scottish independence? In 2014, the Russian president was interviewed by the BBC’s Andrew Marr on the matter.

He told the programme that being part of one single strong state had “some advantages”, but added everyone has the right to self-determination.

READ MORE: Russian interference in Scottish independence referendum to be confirmed

Putin was asked if he had advice for then prime minister David Cameron ahead of the September 18 referendum. He told Marr: "It's not a matter for Russia - it's a domestic issue for the United Kingdom.

"Any people has a right to self-determination and now in Europe the process of diluting national sovereignty in the framework of a united Europe is more accepted.

"But I believe one should not forget that being part of a single, strong state has some advantages and one should not overlook this.

"But it's a choice for each and every people, according to their own circumstances."

Around the time of that interview, the Sunday Herald reported that the former USSR’s leading news agency Itar-Tass said the UK was “extremely interested” in referendum support from Russia.

According to the state-owned agency, Cameron’s government wanted the backing of Putin against Scottish independence.

The Russian news report claimed a source in the PM’s office had warned Scottish independence could “send shockwaves across the whole of Europe”.

In 2014, Russian state media was warning about the “epidemic of separatism” in Scotland and Catalonia.

A Downing Street spokesman said at the time: "We don't recognise these claims. The prime minister has been clear on many occasions that this is a decision for people in Scotland to take.

"There has been no approach to the Russian government for help in the independence referendum and there won't be one.

"Any suggestion the UK Government have asked President Putin to help win hearts and minds in the referendum is ­ridiculous."