Who had been co-opted by the KGB in Estonia? Nobody seems to have a full picture. Does it really matter nearly 30 years after the Soviet Union collapsed and the KGB was disbanded?
The recent Latvian experience is one which tells us the consequences of revealing the names of who was an agent, informer, person to be trusted, a KGB confidant because of a position at work - like the personnel department etc.
In October 2018 at the last session before parliamentary elections, the Latvian Seim decided to make public the KGB list of agents and operational dossiers. This countered the position of Latvia's security and intelligence agencies. The debate surrounding the release of the names has lasted for nearly three decades.
At the April AGM of the Estonian (Toronto Credit Union) shareholders and members first heard about the possibility of a union with the Latvian Credit Union. It is now official; merger discussions have officially been announced as of last week. An agreement is anticipated to close by the end of this calendar year.
Uniting resources, collaboration will only benefit members. The two credit unions, just like their countries, are small. According to the press release of last Friday ECU has 4,700 members, LCU 1,500. That number is somewhat surprising, considering that the LCU has a branch in Hamilton is well.
Beyond improving financial clout there are physical benefits for ECU members. The Estonian Credit Union, as one of the 4 organizations behind the proposed International Estonian Centre near Bloor and Spadina is planning to establish their head office there. While the future of the Toronto Estonian House is still not clear the fact that the primary, keystone tenant is leaving is a fait accompli.
Canadians are being targeted by ongoing foreign information warfare, and these efforts are going to intensify over the coming months
Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE) has released an update to its 2017 report on cyber threats to Canada’s democratic process, warning about the likelihood that “Canadian voters will encounter some form of foreign cyber interference ahead of, and during, the 2019 federal election.”
The report goes on to state that “since the 2015 federal election, Canadian political leaders and the Canadian public have been targeted by foreign cyber interference activities.” Canada’s Magnitsky human rights sanctions are problematic for Russia’s corrupt oligarchs who support the Putin regime — and the handful of Canadian companies they do business with — and desperately seek the repeal of them. The threat of foreign disinformation targeting Canada’s democracy is therefore not just a theoretical possibility, it is happening now.
A moment of high drama involving the KGB and the CIA in Finland is the defection of KGB major Anatoli Golitsyn in 1961. Golitsyn was widely recognized by Western observers as one of the most important Soviet defectors even though his public understanding of political developments engendered heated debates and controversy. The defection influenced Finnish President Urho Kekknonen’s relationships in both the east and west direction. It also helped Supo’s counterintelligence section to learn more of the KGB’s tradecraft and goals.
In Helsinki Golitsyn was known as Anatoli Klimov, since in 1954, in Vienna he had been made by the KGB’s adversaries and had to change identity as he moved on. As a Soviet vice-consul he had diplomatic cover and immunity in Finland, while attached to the counter intelligence section of foreign intelligence (1st Chief Directorate) targeting the intelligence personnel of larger countries. Golitsyn had been on the CIA's sights for a while.
Finland, seen as painstakingly avoiding any unpleasantness with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, was able to play the innocent, non-threatening neighbour for the KGB. But now it’s accepted that the image of Finland willingly accommodating Moscow’s economic and political ambitious had been a historical distortion and the covert stance that its intelligence and security services held shows its definite Western-leaning posture during a cautious period of its independence.
Supo (The Finnish Security Intelligence Service – Suojelupoliisi), established in 1948 had to appear for Moscow as a non-adversarial agency while maintaining a trustworthy relationship with its Western counterparts. Supo was established to replace its forerunner, Valpo (State police – Valtiollinen poliisi). Valpo was disbanded by the Finnish parliament in 1948, after a government investigation determined that communists who occupied it's leadership positions were involved in serious illegalities, including the disappearance of individuals after WWII.
The recently released Estonian Security Service (KAPO) annual report highlights challenges, successes and future targets assisting the government in making the right decisions in maintaining national security.
It's ironical that the report's release coincided with KAPO's detention of retired KAPO veteran officer Vladimir Kulikov for 'cooperating' with Russian intelligence. While withholding most details of his arrest, it’s possible that Kulikov will be charged with high treason. Kulikov was known to have visited Russia where most recruitment approaches are made and is suspected of working with the Russian intelligence since. Retired in 2012, Kulikov was the recipient of the presidential Medal of the Eagle's Cross in 1998.
Eesti Elu Nr. 26 - 3. juuli 2020 DIGILEHT
Kõik numbrid koos sisukorraga: www.issuu.com/estonianlife
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