Russia is "aggressively trying to rebuild" its international human espionage networks, reports Politico. The move comes following the mass expulsion of Russian intelligence officers operating under diplomatic guise in Europe, the article states.
Since Russia's full-scale military invasion of Ukraine began last February, more than 400 Russian so-called undeclared intelligence officers have been forced to leave Europe.
According to Finnish Security Intelligence Service (SUPO) Director Antti Pelttari, Russia will have to find ways to compensate for its shortfall in intelligence personnel, which may lead to an increase in other forms of covert operation being conducted abroad.
Darius Jauniškis, director of Lithuania's State Security Department told Politico, that this may include cyber, non-traditional cover and online operations.
Jauniškis went on to say, that Europe's critical infrastructure is a key target for Russian intelligence, as it seeks to monitor Western "production and supply of weapons to Ukraine." He also noted, that Lithuanian citizens are being approached and recruited for intelligence gathering purposes while traveling to Russia and Belarus.
Read the full article on Politico's website here.
Editor: Michael Cole