Estonia Detains University Professor on Suspicion of Espionage for Moscow

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.16 - 2024 1:29 PM CET

Photo: University of Tartu
Photo: University of Tartu
Estonia Detains University Professor on Suspicion of Espionage for Moscow.

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The Estonian Internal Security Service (Kaitsepolitseiamet) has arrested Russian citizen Vjatšeslav Morozov, a professor at the University of Tartu, on suspicion of activities against the Estonian state.

According to Estonian, the arrest, which took place on January 3, marks a significant development in Estonia's efforts to counter espionage and foreign interference.

Margo Palloson, the head of the Estonian Internal Security Service, emphasized the persistent high level of intelligence interest from the "aggressor state" against Estonia. This case adds to over twenty previous incidents, illustrating Russia's intelligence services' attempts to infiltrate various sectors of Estonian life, including the academic field.

Prosecutors believe that Morozov, while free, might evade criminal proceedings or continue committing crimes, leading to his pre-trial detention. Harju County Court agreed with the prosecution's assessment and ordered Morozov's detention for up to two months, as stated by state prosecutor Triinu Olev.

Investigations and procedural actions are currently underway to verify the accusations and uncover the truth. The criminal investigation is led by the State Prosecutor's Office and conducted by the Estonian Internal Security Service.

Kristiina Tõnnisson, head of the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, informed alumni about the situation in a letter, expressing shock and a sense of betrayal. The university is reviewing Morozov's previous work in light of the new information.

Morozov, who served as a professor of European Union-Russia studies from 2016 to 2023 and as a professor of international political theory until January 11, is now facing serious allegations that have significant implications for Estonia's national security and academic integrity.

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