The annual public accounting of Estonia’s security and intelligence agency, Kapo, details numerous activities with which Russia’s clandestine services gathers information and aids the implementation of the Kremlin’s foreign policy.
The Kapo report states that in the last few years the Russian FSB’s attempts at recruitment in Estonia have substantially grown. One can then assume that the focus of the FSB toward Estonia has intensified. It’s interesting to note that the level of activity of the FSB (Russia’s internal security agency) is much higher than that of both the SVR (foreign espionage) and the GRU (military intelligence, also tasked with foreign targets).
Russian recruitment is sometimes aggressive and is often known to use compromising information about the targeted subjected - simply put, blackmail. The recruitment process begins with a thorough description of the subject’s background. Of particular interests are the person’s weaknesses, emotional stability, disappointment at work, financial hardship, dependence on alcohol, disloyalty, tendency to violence, gambling etc.
One of the more sensational and also serious incidents in 2012 was the revelation that a Kapo officer, Aleksei Dressen, had been recruited by the Russians. Dressen, an ethnic Russian born in Riga, worked as a policeman (militia) and in 1993 was employed by Kapo. It was revealed that, during his career, he had lost his police ID in 1994 and he was charged with wrongful conduct in 1995 and several times thereafter. In 1999 his salary was cut 30% for two months. All of these incidents should have alerted Kapo officials at least about the reliability of Dressen. He was arrested in February of 2012, as his wife Viktoria was about to board a plane for Moscow with an envelope meant for delivery to Russia’s internal security service the FSB. (Loe rohkem Eesti Elu 3. mai paberlehest )
Kapo’s annual report: Russia’s secret service treats Estonia as Russian territory (2)