Catching and Convicting Russian Spies: the Estonian Experience

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Thursday, September 1st, 2022

Thursday, September 1, 202211:00AM - 12:30PM108N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON, M5S 3K7
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After the end of the Cold War espionage seemed to be something belonging to the pages of spy novels and the arrest of a former Estonian defence official in 2008 came as a shock. Since then, 20 people have been convicted for spying for Russia (more than in any other NATO country) and two for China. Based on material available on these 22 cases, the lecture aims to provide some answers to the following questions: What kind of information are the intelligence services of autocratic countries interested in? What is their modus operandi and what type of individuals are recruited? How long have the spies been active before being caught? Why have there been so many convictions in Estonia and so few in other NATO countries?

Ivo Juurvee is Head of Security & Resilience Programme at the International Centre for Defense and Security, Tallinn, Estonia.Prior joining ICDS in 2017, Dr. Ivo Juurvee had been a practitioner in the field of security for more than 13 years. Amongst other positions in Estonian public service, he has been an adviser at the National Security and Defense Coordination Unit of the Estonian Government Office and the head of the Internal Security Institute of the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences. He has also taught security related topics at the University of Tartu, Estonian Military Academy, Estonian School of Diplomacy, Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine, NATO School (Oberammergau) and on the FRONTEX master’s program on border management.

Ivo’s professional and academic areas of interest are information warfare, intelligence services and other forms of hybrid conflict. He has worked as an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies and given a guest lecture in several universities, including Stanford and Georgetown. He holds a PhD degree in history from the University of Tartu (2013) and an MA from the Central European University, Budapest (2003).


Larysa Iarovenko


Ivo Juurvee
International Centre for Defense and Security, Tallinn, Estonia

Andres Kasekamp
Elmar Tampõld Chair of Estonian Studies , Professor of History

Main Sponsor

Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies


Chair of Estonian Studies

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