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Main War — Estonia has uncovered a hybrid operation by the Russian Federation, resulting in the arrest of 10 individuals

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Estonia has uncovered a hybrid operation by the Russian Federation, resulting in the arrest of 10 individuals

20 Feb, 2024
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Estonia has uncovered a hybrid operation by the Russian Federation, resulting in the arrest of 10 individuals

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Estonia has successfully exposed a hybrid operation by Russian intelligence services, resulting in the arrest of 10 individuals within the framework of a criminal investigation.

According to Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and the Estonian Security Police,

"Estonia has successfully thwarted a hybrid operation by Russian intelligence services on our territory." The Prime Minister emphasized that Estonia is aware of the Kremlin's targeting of all democratic societies. "Our response is to be open and expose their methods. This way, we can restrain harmful actions and make ourselves resilient," she added.

The Security Police identified suspects involved in damaging the cars of Minister of Internal Affairs Lauri Läänemets and Delfi portal journalist Andrey Shumakov. Overall, 10 individuals were arrested as part of the criminal investigation. The police believe they were acting on orders from Russian intelligence services.

"From December to February, the police detained 10 individuals suspected of acting on orders from Russian intelligence services. Among the suspects are those who caused damage to the minister's and journalist's cars," stated the state prosecutor's office on Tuesday.

 

 

According to State Prosecutor Triinu Olev, among the detainees are Estonian citizens, Russian citizens, and individuals with dual citizenship. Olev noted that the suspects received money for their actions. "The amounts were not significant, but money was definitely one of the motives," emphasized Police Director General Margo Palloson during a press conference.

According to the suspicion, the detainees knew they were acting on orders from Russian intelligence services.

"Most were recruited through social media groups, but there were also residents of Russia among the detainees who were recruited in Russia. There were orders for specific memorials. Some of the plans were prevented; these people had intentions to damage several more cars. A large portion of the detainees were previously known to the police. We do not exclude the possibility that the number of suspects may increase," Margo Palloson added.

 

 

According to a statement from the state prosecutor's office, the data gathered thus far during the criminal investigation indicates that Russian special services coordinated a hybrid operation against Estonia's security involving the suspects currently detained.

"As known to the Security Police, the aim of this operation was to sow fear and create tension within Estonian society," the prosecutor's office added.

According to the investigation, the suspects who acted on the orders of Russian special services had various roles. Some collected information to prepare for violations of the law, while others were the executors.

Among other tasks, Estonian law enforcement assures, they were instructed to vandalize the cars of the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Delfi journalist, as well as desecrate memorials.

In early December 2023, the windshield of the car belonging to the Minister of Internal Affairs and the head of the Social Democratic Party, Lauri Läimets, was shattered.

According to police reports, two other cars were damaged in Tallinn. One of them belonged to the chief editor of the Russian-language portal Delfi, Andrey Shumakov.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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