It’s been obvious from the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s reign that Russia is obsessed with regaining its former control at least over the formerly Soviet-occupied areas.
To this end the political-economic cohesiveness of the European Union must be weakened, political unity within any one country disrupted, NATO’s expansion eastward blocked and military deployment close to its borders must be removed.
In helping to move toward these goals, social media campaigns, traditional propaganda, aggressive diplomacy are simply insufficient. Moscow needs assets on the ground to gain information and advance their cause.
In the business of obtaining confidential sources of vital information, recruiting and grooming foreign agents of influence are the SVR (foreign intelligence service), the FSB (domestic security and intelligence service) and the GRU (military intelligence service). The intelligent operatives within embassies, consulates, foreign missions such as the UN delegation are all under diplomatic cover that provides immunity from prosecution by the host country. But they can be expelled for activities not compatible with their functions as diplomats. (Read more: Estonian Life No. 35 2019)
Laas Leivat, Toronto
Eesti Elu Nr. 31 - 7. august 2020 DIGILEHT
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