“It’s not about paranoia”: The Office for the Protection of the Constitution calls for a change in awareness

“It’s not about paranoia”
The Office for the Protection of the Constitution calls for a change in awareness

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Russian spies are believed to have scouted out attack targets in Germany, and this is no surprise for Thuringia’s top intelligence agency. In the past, such warnings were dismissed as fear-mongering.

The President of the Thuringian State Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Stephan Kramer, sees an urgent need for action in politics and society following the arrest of two suspected Russian spies in Bavaria. “We have to catch up and get our house in order,” Kramer told the editorial network Germany (RND). “The most important thing is a change in awareness. It’s not about fear-mongering or paranoia.” Security starts with everyone – “whether they are government officials or politicians or private users of social networks and the Internet.”

According to Kramer, they were forewarned: “The Russian government has been building networks for decades and has repeatedly tested their impact and effectiveness in recent years.” These would now be used. “For a long time, people in politics and society refused to accept this and dismissed the warnings as unrealistic and fear-mongering. Now the necessary sensitivity and awareness to do everything necessary to ensure our own national security, both in terms of personnel and material, is missing.”

Last Wednesday, two German-Russian citizens were arrested in the Bayreuth area in northern Bavaria who are said to have scouted out targets for possible acts of sabotage in Germany for Moscow. According to the Federal Prosecutor General’s assessment, these were intended in particular to “undermine the military support provided by Germany to Ukraine against the Russian war of aggression.” Both men are in custody.

After the arrest, the former president of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Gerhard Schindler, expressed the fear that the uncovered activities were only “the tip of the iceberg.” Espionage and sabotage are part of the toolbox of Russian geopolitics, especially in times of war, he told RND.

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