Russia, Belarus ‘trying to infiltrate Lithuanian army via new recruits’

DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

“The recruits may be used for attempted infiltration of the National Defense System,” reads the assessment of the Threats to National Security drafted by the State Security Department and the Defence Ministry’s Investigation Department.

The reports said the infiltration would likely target conscripted persons or among new Lithuanian army recruits.

Earlier this year, Lithuanian army’s ex-paramedic Andrey Osurkov was Sentenced to three years in prison for Spying for Russia – he was conscripted in Belarus and infiltrated into the Lithuanian army as a recruit back in 2007.

The focus of Russian intelligence gathering in Lithuania is mainly focussed on the development of Lithuania’s military capacity, weaponry, exercises and NATO missions, according to the report.

In the document, the State Security Department and the military intelligence published a photograph featuring what appears to be signal intelligence equipment on the roof of the Russian Embassy in Vilnius.

Russia’s active intelligence work is conducted under diplomatic disguise, while intelligence and security staff make up a third of the diplomatic personnel in Lithuania, the report suggested that journalists cooperating with Moscow are also active in collecting intelligence information in Lithuania.

The intelligence services also noticed increased activity in drones close to Lithuania’s borders last year, saying they “could be used for intelligence operations and for planning of illegal penetration into the country’s territory”.

The report said Russia’s security services recruit residents of the border region who are going to Russia for heaper goods by bringing fictitious or actual charges of smuggling or violations of border crossing procedures against them. This is then used as leverage against people to cooperate with Russian security services according to the report.

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