ERR News poll: readers jury out on state of Estonian intelligence services

KaPo (ISS) Headquarters Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
12/18/2014 5:34 PM
Category: Politics

Last week Russian TV aired a program about a former Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS) official, who claimed to have spied for Russia for over a decade, making sizable claims about holes in Estonia's secure channels. A poll conducted among ERR News readers showed mixed opinions about the Estonian intelligence community.

Estonia's authorities said that the whole affair was a propaganda attack, aimed to undermine Estonia. 28 percent of ERR News readers agreed with the statement, saying the television program was political deception.

In one of the closest polls, 23 percent said that Estonian security services are coping well with the Russian threat, perhaps in keeping the three sentenced Russian spies in mind.

But a third, 30 percent to be precise, disagreed, saying Estonia is struggling to cope. The captured ISS official Eston Kohver, currently held in Moscow on espionage charges, could be one example.

During the first day of the poll, the most negative evaluation, from the Estonian point of view, threatened to take the lead, with close to half saying the battle against Russian spooks has been lost. That figure continued to decline over the next days, landing at only 14 percent.

ERR News asked its readers for their opinion on the state of the Estonian intelligence community:

30 percent – struggling to cope with infiltration
28 percent – latest case just misinformation from Russia to blacken reputation
23 percent – handling (renewed) pressure from Russia well
14 percent – losing the battle, being overrun
5 percent – the poster boy for counter-intelligence in NATO

J.M. Laats, S. Tambur

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