Retired counterintelligence officers rarely give interviews. It is even more unusual for them to do so without anonymity.
Yet this is exactly what Ferenc Katrein, a former Hungarian counterintelligence officer did, when he was interviewed by the independent Hungarian news portal index.hu.
The full interview is available in English.
Katrein tells us of a secret service offensive that is waged by Russia against the European Union. He speaks of a corrupt Hungarian leadership that offered an opportunity for many Russian citizens to enter and even settle in the country in return for a modest investment with little or no effective background checks. He speaks of the role of Russia in far right movements in Europe, and their campaigns of disinformation.
All in all, it is a rare glimpse into how a counterintelligence service works on the eastern fringes of the European Union, and the extraordinary challenges that Europe faces in light of an aggressive (and in many ways, unrestrained) Russian foreign policy agenda.