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Estonian Internal Security Service apprehended suspects for wrecking cars belonging to Minister of Internal Affairs and a journalist

From December to February, KAPO has detained 10 suspects for acting on behalf of a Russian special service. Among them are those suspected to have broken car windows of the minister's and the journalist's car. 

The information currently collected in criminal proceedings indicate that the Russian special service had coordinated a hybrid operation against the security of the Republic of Estonia, involving the suspects that have been detained. To the knowledge of the Estonian Internal Security Service, its aim was to spread fear and create tension in Estonian society.

Investigators have reason to suspect the detained persons performed various roles according to the instructions of a Russian special service - they collected information for the preparation of the attacks, and some of the planned attacks were also carried out. Among other things, they were incited to commit these crimes – breaking car windows or the minister and a journalist, and defile monuments. 

State Prosecutor Triinu Olev explained that this is an initial suspicion that is being verified in criminal proceedings. "The proceedings have been initiated pursuant to the section of the Penal Code concerning a criminal offence against the security of the Republic of Estonia. The Prosecutor's Office has requested arresting six persons, who we fear may continue to commit criminal offences and start to refrain from criminal proceedings. We cannot overlook the seriousness of these acts under investigation and the fact that they were suspected of being prepared to participate in activities against the security of the Republic of Estonia without thinking about the consequences," she added.

Margo Palloson, Director General of the Estonian Internal Security Service, has a clear message to those who respond to calls for anti-Estonian activities: "Sooner or later, we will catch those who are trying to endanger the security of the Estonian state," he assured. 

Russian special services have tried in many ways to create tension in Estonia for years. According to Palloson, Estonian society lacks wider support for Russia's divisive activities and they do not achieve their goals. He still considers specific individuals to be part of the race. "The Russian services do not care about the well-being of these perpetrators, they are used as a tool and the consequences are left to them alone." 

Palloson confirmed that some of the people who vandalized memorials were recruited through social media. "Attentive people have already helped us a lot, and I encourage people to report to the Estonian Internal Security Service if you see anyone recruiting possible perpetrators for such attacks."

First of these persons suspected in planning and carrying out attacks in Estonia were detained in December, then in early February and now last week. As procedural acts are currently being carried out to verify the suspicion and ascertain important facts, it is not possible to discuss these incidents in further detail. Criminal proceedings are managed by the Prosecutor General´s Office and conducted by the Estonian Internal Security Service.