Conflicts: Ex-secret service chief: Russian spies “tip of the iceberg”

Conflicts: Ex-secret service chief: Russian spies “tip of the iceberg”

They are said to have scouted out attack targets and planned sabotage operations: two suspected Russian spies were arrested in Bavaria. The problem is of greater proportions, warns a former BND boss.

The former president of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Gerhard Schindler, fears further undiscovered cases following the arrest of two suspected Russian spies in Bavaria. The uncovered secret service activities are not a surprise, “but the tip of the iceberg,” he told the editorial network Germany (RND).

Espionage and sabotage were part of the toolbox of Russian geopolitics, especially in times of war. A good two years ago, Russia attacked neighboring Ukraine, which also defended itself with German military aid.

The two suspected Russian-Germans are said to have scouted out possible attack targets for Moscow; According to the Federal Prosecutor General, they were also involved in sabotage operations. Investigators searched their homes and places of work. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock therefore summoned the Russian ambassador to Berlin.

After the EU summit in Brussels, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) emphasized that preventing such activities must be a high priority. “We can never accept that such espionage activities take place in Germany.”

CDU politician: Russian agents with tourist visas

The deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Johann Wadephul, told the RND that the incident should be a wake-up call for the security authorities, especially for the military counterintelligence service. Because Bundeswehr facilities are a main target.

The deputy chairman of the Bundestag’s parliamentary control committee, Roderich Kiesewetter (CDU), told the RND: “We also have to check the visa policy. Because many Russian agents are with us on tourist visas.” The CSU European politician Manfred Weber told the broadcaster Antenne Bayern: “We should put aside all naivety. (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is already present, he tries to destabilize us every day – including through fake news in the digital media.”

One of the two men, Dieter S., is said to have been discussing possible sabotage operations with someone connected to a Russian secret service at least since October last year. He is said to have agreed to carry out explosives and arson attacks, especially on military infrastructure and industrial sites in Germany. The second accused, Alexander J., had been helping him since March at the latest.

Russian embassy rejects all allegations

The domestic politician Christoph de Vries (CDU) demanded in the “Handelsblatt”: “If the accusation of membership in a foreign terrorist organization is confirmed in the case of the accused Dieter S., this should definitely also result in the revocation of the German citizenship for this suspected terrorist have.”

The Russian embassy in Berlin rejected all allegations. “No evidence was presented that would testify to the plans of those arrested and their possible relationships with Russian structures,” the embassy said. The summoning of Ambassador Sergei Nechayev to the Berlin Foreign Ministry was an “open provocation aimed at fueling the already excessive spyomania in the Federal Republic of Germany and inflaming anti-Russian sentiment.”

Arrest in Poland – assassination attempt on Zelenskyj planned?

Another case caused a stir in Poland: the local secret service arrested a man who allegedly wanted to help Russian military intelligence plan an assassination attempt on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Polish citizen was caught on Wednesday, the public prosecutor’s office in Warsaw said.

Accordingly, he is said to have collected information about the security precautions at Rzeszow Airport and passed it on to the Russians. Zelenskyj’s trips abroad mostly go through this Polish airport, which he travels to from Kiev.

Source: Stern

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