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Reuters: Russia resorts to blackmail and bribery to recruit spies in Germany

Moscow attempts to hire Germans to spy for it after Europe’s expulsion of some 600 Russian diplomats, Germany’s domestic security service said.
Bundestag
The German parliament Bundestag in Berlin. Photo: DBT/Zumbansen
Reuters: Russia resorts to blackmail and bribery to recruit spies in Germany

Russia has turned to blackmail and financial incentives to hire Germans for spying after Europe expelled some 600 Russian diplomats, said Germany’s security service, Reuters reported.

Far-right groups, diplomats, and its assistants are key targets for Russia, which has proved adaptable in finding ways of influencing events in Germany. Among the first category are the Reichsbuerger conspiracy theorists, some of whom were jailed for plotting a coup against the German order with Russian support. Other far-right groups spread fakes and propaganda to undermine assistance for Ukraine.

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution said Russian intelligence services were spending large amounts of money to recruit agents for its operations. For instance, last August, two German citizens who were charged with high treason for spying for Russia had each been paid nearly $428,560 for their services, according to the agency.

“The agent fees show that Russia’s services continue to have enormous financial resources with which to pursue their intelligence goals,” said Germany’s security service.

Germans living in or frequently traveling to Russia are particularly vulnerable to being targeted by Moscow security services and at risk of being subjected to blackmail attempts. These services aggressively recruit once they have compromising information.

“As soon as they have compromising information about their targets, these services are not shy about employing aggressive recruitment techniques,” they added.

In June, NATO reaffirmed its concerns about Russian espionage, calling for tougher action in response to their activities, including sabotage and cyberattacks.

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