Russia recruiting young spies from Estonia: report
PR dla Zagranicy
Russia is trying to recruit young spies from Estonia by offering them free excursions and promoting the notion that agents are heroes, Poland's niezalezna.pl website has said, citing a report by the Estonian Internal Security Service.
Estonian Internal Security Service headquarters. Photo: Lohusalu/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
The report said that Russia annually organises dozens of events aimed at young people from the Baltic states and other NATO countries, niezalezna.pl reported.
The youths being targeted by Russia are those most susceptible to manipulation, niezalezna said, citing the Estonian Internal Security Service's report.
Russia was also painting a "false image" of spies as national heroes, which would "make it easier for young people to commit crimes against the Estonian state," the report is quoted by niezalezna.pl as saying.
According to Arnold Sinisalu, the Estonian Internal Security Service's head director, the main challenge facing Estonia's security is Russian policy aimed at breaking up Estonian society, niezalezna.pl reported.
"Why is the Kremlin trying to reach youths? In order to have people in the future who can influence Estonian politics," niezalezna.pl quoted Sinisalu as saying.
The Estonian Internal Security Service report said that Russia was collecting the data of Estonian citizens and that Russia was especially interested in local political circles in Estonia ahead of the country's local government elections in 2017, niezalezna.pl reported.
Russians are Estonia's largest ethnic minority, accounting for about a quarter of the country's population of 1.3 million. (vb/pk)