Eesti Elu
Recruitment more reliable than ‘soft power’ for Russian influence goals in Estonia (IV)
Rahvusvahelised uudised 12 Jul 2013 EL (Estonian Life)Eesti Elu
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Laas Leivat

The case of the convicted ex-Estonian Security Police (KaPo) officer, Aleksei Dressen, inevitably raises the politically incorrect question of ethnic background as a determinant in gauging someone’s relative loyalty to the Estonian Republic.

While Dressen’s ethnicity (of Russian heritage) was never a major public issue at his arrest and conviction, it would be naïve to assume that the question was never, at least cautiously, broached amongst in private settings. KaPo has gone on public record to state that Dressen was ‘turned’ by the FSB who pressed on Dressen’s career disappointment, financial gain and personal ambition buttons for agreement to co-operate. It was also pointed out the FSB threatened to expose his failure to report an earlier approach and offer that the Russian agency had made to him.

It’s interesting to note what a Russian recruiter’s expectations of success are in ‘turning’ Estonian versus non-Estonian candidates. Does an FSB operative assume there’s a better chance of winning over a person of ethnic Russian origin as opposed to one of Estonian background?

Ethnic, religious, racial or any other bias cannot enter the process. Since the security services of all three Baltic states have claimed that FSB activity, especially in recruitment attempts, in the three countries is intense, knowing who are more likely to be targeted would be valuable in counter-intelligence efforts. It’s also known that most recruitment attempts fail. (Loe pikemalt Eesti Elu 12. juuli paberlehest)
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