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Lithuania sees unprecedented activity level by Belarus' KGB

by Martin Fornusek November 27, 2023 10:57 AM 2 min read
Lithuania's intelligence agency (VSD) director Darius Jauniskis at a press conference at the Presidential palace in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Nov. 15, 2019. (Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Lithuanian intelligence agency (VSD) recorded a "historic" activity level by Belarus' KGB secret police, the VSD's head said in a comment for LRT Radio on Nov. 26.

"We are witnessing intensified activities of the Belarusian KGB, which are, in fact, reaching historic heights; they have never been so intense," Lithuania's intelligence chief Darius Jauniskis said.

The Lithuanian security services have concerns regarding the activity of some Belarusian residents, he added. The country has recognized 1,644 Belarusian citizens living in Lithuania as a threat to national security.

The Belarusian community in Lithuania has grown from 48,000 at the beginning of the year to over 60,000 in late September, migration data shows.

Many also arrived after the 2020 protests against the fraudulent presidential elections that solidified the power of dictator Alexander Lukashenko.

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Vilnius has been tightening its rules on migration from Belarus after Lukashenko assisted Russia's war against Ukraine. This sparked concerns of a negative impact on Belarusian political exiles and on Lithuania's economy.

Jauniskis also pointed out that Russian propaganda in Lithuania is gaining momentum.

The VSD's chief commented that a recent string of false bomb threats the country experienced in October was designed to cause confusion and uncertainty.

He did not explicitly link these "information operations" to a specific actor.

Tensions between Vilnius and Minsk have been mounting since 2021, when Belarus orchestrated a migrant crisis on Lithuania's border. Relations became strained again following the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine and the arrival of Wagner mercenaries to Belarus.

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