With the beginning of the aggression of Russia in Ukraine the geopolitical situation in the region is complex, she has not improved in the past year. Just the opposite — it continues to strengthen the activities of secret services of Russia against the countries-members of NATO and the European Union, including Latvia, says the report of the security Police (SP) for the previous year. In the introductory part of the document head PB Normunds Mivies emphasizes that his service last work year was busy. Against any threats fought PB?
The Russian Security Services
A large part of the document is coming from Russian threats. As before, last year in Latvia the major challenges in the field of counter-intelligence created intelligence services of Russia — Federal security service (FSB), foreign intelligence Service (SVR) and Main intelligence Directorate of General staff of the Armed forces (GU). These intelligence agencies to obtain secret information, trying to use Latvia’s residents, who regularly travel to Russia, do business or live in the neighborhood. PB warns that violations on the part of inhabitants of Latvia in Russia (even errors in the entry documents) can be used to exert pressure to ensure cooperation with the secret services. At risk of recruitment are also vulnerable young people who are offered participation in various camps and education in Russia.
Forecast PB: implemented by the Russian security services activities and this year will continue to pose risks to national security of Latvia. Increased activity is expected in connection with the elections, the government in 2017 and the organization of events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Latvian state.
Organizations of “compatriots”
Russian security services began to seriously impact on public opinion in neighboring countries. PB drew attention to the coherence of the Russian “compatriots” with a foreign policy rhetoric in Russia — protesting against the membership of Latvia in the Euro-Atlantic community of States, the denigration of NATO, the attempts to strengthen the position of the Russian language, discrediting the Latvian state at the international level, attempts to change the institution of citizenship and the legitimization of the aggressive foreign policy of Russia. Activities living in Latvia Russian “compatriots” is mainly due to financial, organizational and coordination support to the Russian institutions. However, PB noted that in the last few years, the flow of funding from Russia for the organizations of “compatriots” has decreased. In this regard, in addition to the celebrations on the occasion of the May 9 parade “Immortal regiment” and small protests against the events in memory of legionaries on 16 March, other major activities or projects are not implemented.
Forecast PB: actions implemented under the guise of policy to Russian “compatriots”, will continue to pose serious risks to ensure the protection of the constitutional system of Latvia. Further, the emphasis in policy to Russian “compatriots” more will be done on the so-called question of their legitimate rights and interests and on the measures to strengthen the collective historical memory of the official Russian interpretation of the history of allocating substantial funds.
The Mouthpiece Of The Kremlin
Being unable to gather the masses or to attract young people to street stock, Pro-Russian activists have shifted to the slandering of Latvia and dissemination of praising the foreign policy of Russia in the media and on the Internet. Vladimir Linderman and Yevgeni Osipov reward prepare publications for the media propaganda of the Kremlin, and other “compatriots” regularly appear in them in the status of “experts”, for example, complaining about the “revival of fascism” or “oppression of Russians” in Latvia.
PB in its report indicates that in Latvia continued to operate a number of informational resources whose activities are funded and koordiniruyutsya from Russia. An additional challenge to national security can create a so called “portals clicks” that are trying to attract an audience unreliable, focused on the manipulation and poor quality content.
Forecast PB: to continue the information space of Latvia is subjected to pressure campaigns of Russia, the task of which is to affect public opinion and decision-making process in Latvia and the creation of an imaginary justification for aggressive Russian foreign policy.
Political and religious radicals
The risk due to right-wing or left-wing extremists in Latvia is traditionally stored at a low level, because these organizations are small, they lack the funding and the major leaders. The concerns of the residents in connection with the issue of refugees in the past year have subsided and disappeared when interest in radical organizations.
The level of threat of terrorism in Latvia remains low, but the risk can create a joining of separate persons to the fighting in Iraq and Syria terrorist groups. Available PB information indicates that currently controlled by the terrorist organization “Islamic state” areas there are several members of the Muslim community of Latvia, which may have passed there training in the training camps of the terrorists involved in the fighting, and also carried out other activities, for example, to spread propaganda. In this territory of Latvia headed by both men and women, taking young children.
The PB forecast: Latvia is not expected intensification of activities of terrorist organizations, and the likelihood of terrorist attacks is low. Along with this it is projected that in the next reporting period the level of terrorism threats in Latvia will remain low. At the same time in the Muslim community of Latvia still there are risks of radicalization.