Intelligence Online: Ukrainian community in France under surveillance
The French domestic intelligence services keep a close eye on the Ukrainian community in France, fearing threats on potential French "targets".
France has refused a nationality application for a Ukrainian national following a discovery by the Direction Generale de la Securite Interieure (DGSI), the French domestic intelligence services, that the applicant is suspected to have links to the Ukrainian foreign intelligence service.
An Intelligence Online report indicated that France, through its DSGI, remained vigilant regarding the Ukrainian community within its borders, despite its public support for Ukraine in the face of Russia.
It is worth noting that Intelligence Online did highlight that France's main concern remained Russian infiltration, nonetheless, it kept tab on all Ukrainian activism throughout the country.
The DGSI's strategy is to gather intelligence from members of the local Ukrainian community regarding the "activities and moods of their compatriots," especially those who are well-known within Parisian political and business circles.
The French domestic intelligence is dependent in more ways than one, according to the report, on frequent interactions with Ukrainians who agree to engage the DGSI with this type of cooperation, which has been going on for some time now.
Ukrainians track and tell
The DSGI is interested in tracing Ukrainian activists and personnel throughout their everyday lives; their movements, interpersonal relationships, political and social rivalries, changes in employment, business deals and activities, and most importantly any ties with Ukrainian state representatives in Paris.
This approach enables the DGSI to evaluate, according to the Intelligence Online report, the status of Ukrainian politics and business. The majority of the Ukrainian diaspora in France maintains close ties with their homeland; A few retain Ukrainian citizenship, while some occupy government or private sector positions that demand them to preserve ties between Paris and Kiev.
Information obtained in this way helps the DGSI's specialist "former USSR" personnel, to deepen their existing knowledge of Ukrainian political and economic status and to keep an eye on Ukrainians who go relatively close to significant French "targets".
The Ukrainian embassy stands-out
One of the DGSI's covert priorities was the Ukrainian embassy, given that it is headed by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to France, Vadym Omelchenko. The Ambassador has been known by the domestic intelligence service to have been a former security official specialized in organized crime and corruption.
Intelligence Online not only emphasized the significance of his position, but also noted that his current position is his first-ever diplomatic position. The report further highlighted that significantly, amongst the embassy's economic section was embedded the external intelligence service of Ukraine (SZRU).
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