There’s a high probability that there are agents recruited by Belarusian security among the members of the Belarusian opposition in Lithuania, according to Lithuania’s intelligence.
They warn that disappointed Belarusians within their diaspora in Lithuania are exploited by Belarus intelligence services for gathering intelligence and influence operations.
The chief of Lithuania’s State Security Department (VSD), Darius Jauniškis, informed on Thursday about the possible presence in the country of actively recruited KGB agents among the Belarusian opposition members which provide information to the Belarusian special services, and, as such, pose a serious risk to the Belarusian opposition itself.
Nothing that Lithuania might take measures against this, Jauniškis pointed out that Belarus agents illegally crossed the border to enter the country and are falsely presenting themselves as opposition representatives.
Tens of thousands of citizens arrived in Lithuania after the 2020 Belarusian presidential election.
Per the VSD’s chief, Lithuania’s intelligence services also intercepted messages that many members of the Belarusian diaspora in Lithuania are continuously receiving through Telegram social network accounts with calls to return to Belarus.
According to Jauniškis, these activities are part of the “Road Home” initiative that Minsk has been running since 2021 to allow Belarusian expats to return safely to their homeland in exchange for spying.
Per the 2023 National Threat Assessment report that the VSD and the Second Investigation Department under Lithuania’s Ministry of National Defense presented earlier in the day, the Minsk regime is also forcing some of its citizens to publicly tell their escape and return stories on the state TV-channels.
One such example is former Belarusian OMON officer Andrey Abramenko who crossed into Lithuania and applied for asylum in 2021 after being prosecuted for his protest activity in Belarus in 2020.
A few months later, Abramenko, who was likely cooperating with the KGB, returned to his homeland to become one of the main characters in a Belarusian propaganda movie defaming Lithuania.
The report also warned that Belarus intelligence services are likely to step up the use of the Belarusian diaspora in Lithuania, which is constantly growing, to collect intelligence information.
It also warns of the possible attempts by extremist individuals to enter Lithuania as part of the irregular migrant flows orchestrated by the Belarusian government, which Lithuanian security services expect to continue in the medium term.