Estonia Snags First Spy Linked to Russian Military Intelligence

Bloomberg, By Ott Ummelas, 12 April 2017

Estonia’s security service arrested a Russian in January on suspicion of spying, the Baltic country’s first case involving an alleged recruit of the GRU military intelligence service.

The person may face a jail term of up to 10 years if found guilty, Arnold Sinisalu, head of Estonia’s Internal Security Service, was cited as saying by Baltic News Service. Sinisalu declined to say whether the person was a permanent resident of Estonia.

Estonian authorities last year caught two people with dual Estonian and Russian citizenship recruited by Russia’s domestic intelligence service, the FSB, for spying on military and law-enforcement activities, the Baltic nation’s service said in an annual report released on Wednesday. Both were found guilty and received jail sentences of 2 1/2 and 3 years. Similarly, two other people recruited by the FSB were caught in 2015.

 Estonia’s first spying case since regaining independence in 1991 broke in September 2008, when a former high-ranking defense official was detained and later jailed for 12 1/2 years for treason for passing NATO secrets to Russian intelligence. Since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s reinforcement of its eastern flank following the conflict in Ukraine, Russian intelligence agencies have increasingly probed Estonia’s defenses, the service said.

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