Eesti Elu
KGB strategy and Estonians abroad: a perestroika era plan for action Estonian Life
Arvamus 12 Mar 2016 EL (Estonian Life)Eesti Elu
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Laas Leivat

It’s known that the Estonian KGB 1st chief directorate’s (foreign intelligence) archives were either removed to Russia or destroyed. Numerous attempts to have them reuturned have failed as has access to them.
Since equivalent materials in Lihtuania remained intact, some insight into the activities of foreign intelligence operations managed from Tallinn can still be gleaned, One specific document contains the plans of Paul (Pavel) Toom (chief of the local Estonian 1st chief directorate) in targeting exile Estonians. Specifically Toom’s proposals, entitled “Working with the Estonian emigrants during perestroika” was sent to many local 1st chief directorates in other Soviet republics, local foreign intelligence branches. Targeting their own ‘emigrant’ communities was the priority with which, Latvian, Lithuanian, Byelorussian etc., foreign intelligence departments were to be mainly involved.
The “politics of renewal” and “perestroika” of Mihkail Gorbachev forced a rethinking of the operations targeting emigrants. One could say that Toom’s proposesd approach had been the standard in some foreign intelligence branches of the more „liberal” Warsaw Pact republics such as Hungary. It’s ironical that Toom saw advantages in having ESTO 1996 held in Tallinn (in fact ESTO 1996 was held in Stockholm and Tallinn), but unfortunately for the Soviet spy agency the KGB by that time had been dismantled in Estonia.
In a long introduction to his proposals for a radical adjustment of strategy regarding the Estonian exile community Toom says that the current KGB activities inevitably lead to confrontation with Estonian groups abroad. Toom was convinced that leaders of these groups were meant to be the vanguard of forces being prepared to take over Soviet-occupied countries and revert them back to pre-war conditions and alliances. In spite of the fact that the organized anti-Soviet actions of Estonians were executed with the close co-opration of Western intelligence agencies, penetrating these groups was to be of the highest importance.
According to Toom, the Soviet service would then be able to guage the extent to which Western covert services were working with exile groups, and who in their leadership was directly involved and able to undertake counter-measures to undo the relationship. It would be necessary to compromise the leadership of the organizations. Toom estimated that the most dedicated individuals of the anti-Soviet groups numbered only about 200 and that most of these had close ties with the CIA. (Pikemalt Eesti Elu 11. märtsi paberlehes)
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