According to a recent report published by the Lithuanian State Security Department, actions of Russian intelligence and security agencies are the most intensive and aggressive against Lithuania, and their staff often operate under diplomatic disguise. A special unit is dedicated to the Belarusian Committee for State Security (KGB).
The issue of Ukraine
Last year Lithuania attracted much attention of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) due to its attempts to draw Ukraine to the European scene. As holder of the Presidency of the EU Council in the latter half of 2013, Vilnius organised a number of events aiming at Ukraine’s eurointegration.
According to the Lithuanian State Security Department, Russian agents usually try to recruit representatives of state institutions, political parties, media companies, research centers, high-tech companies and ethnic minorities. The contacts are not only used for collecting information but also for coordination and control of organizations and persons representing Russian interests.
Lithuanian security services made public some photos of Russian agents and their informants.
What way do they recruit a person?
Traditionally, Russian agents seek ‘weak points’. Financial interests, compromising information, lean to Russia are called as main motives to communicate with Russian secret services.
In addition to traditional methods, the instruments against Lithuania include electronic intelligence, cyber spying and unconventional cover, the State Security Department said, adding that Russian intelligence and security services have technical means for controlling telephone conversations of persons they are interested in.
‘Different spying programs are applied. They might be attached to e-mails <…> Viruses are also used: they get to computers via external media. It is worth saying that Russian agents give them as gifts and recommend using them. When a pen drive or other device is plugged in, a computer gets infected with a spying virus,’ the report reads.
Furthermore, Russian intelligence and security services contribute to dissemination of information in favour of Russia, formation, coordination and support of groups of influence.
Persons may be forced to collaboration through blackmail. Having any information on violations, smuggling, drunk driving, etc Russian agents threat to pull the trigger. Sometimes the FSB aims to provoke Lithuanian citizens, the report stresses. It is the Luthuanian businessmen who often fall victims to such kind of pressure.
Belarusian chekists at one with Russia?
A special unit dwells upon the activity of the Belarusian secret services which ‘actively work against Lithuania’. They pay much attention to Belarusian opposition organisations and their contacts in Lithuania, the report says.
Another target is the Belarusian diaspora. With the help of Belarusian diplomats, the KGB tries to keep Belarusian communities under control. Furthermore, spies are in constant search of partners and informants among Lithuanian politicians, entrepreneurs, journalists.
The Belarusian Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Department turns out to have an interest in Lithuanian military facilities, armed forces and their combat readiness.