Russia’s FSB trying to recruit Ukrainian refugees abroad, Estonian security service says

12 April, 06:40 PM
The FSB began systematically interviewing people who regularly visit Russia for work (Photo:REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)

The FSB began systematically interviewing people who regularly visit Russia for work (Photo:REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)

Russian special services are systematically trying to recruit Ukrainian refugees arriving in Estonia, local news outlet ERR reported on April 12, citing the annual report of the Estonian Security Police.

"The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation systematically tries to recruit war refugees arriving from Russia to Estonia," the message reads.

Estonian law enforcement officials say 45,000 Ukrainian refugees have fled to Estonia from late February to the end of 2022.

"Interviews with war refugees clearly show the FSB's (widespread) activities against Ukrainians in Russia and the occupied territories," the law enforcement agency said in a statement.

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“From filtration camps to interrogations at border checkpoints, Ukrainians are under increased scrutiny, and (persons) hostile and dangerous to Russia are identified among them.”

The Estonian Security Police noted that the Russians interrogate Ukrainians, search their property, look through their communications, and sometimes use threats and violence.

The FSB has also begun to systematically question people who regularly visit Russia for work.

"When crossing the border, they are asked about their attitude towards Russia and the 'special military operation' (the Kremlin’s propaganda term for its war on Ukraine) … as well as about the alleged persecution of Russians in Estonia," the report says.

“FSB agents film these conversations, either openly or secretly, or on the border guards' bodycams.”

The Estonian police believe that such activities are likely to intensify in the future, as in wartime the Russian political and military leadership's need for information is higher than usual, and there are higher expectations for intelligence.

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