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Under surveillance: Bugs found at Russian cultural center in Estonia

Under surveillance: Bugs found at Russian cultural center in Estonia
A wiretapping device has been found in a cultural center for Russian-speaking Estonian citizens in Tallinn. The NGO is run by the mother of the city’s vice mayor, who is suspected of lobbying for Russian interests in the Baltic country.

­The wiretap, discovered Tuesday, is the second such device found in the Lira cultural and sports center, after a thorough inspection carried out by center’s security.

The first eavesdropping device, which was clumsily wired into the facility’s alarm system, was found on May 15. Inspectors believe the bugs were installed between September and December 2011. The police opened an investigation but so far no official statements have been made on the issue.

Lira unites over fifty centers which organize cultural and sporting activities for Estonia's Russian-speaking population.

"We can assume who is behind this, but let the police find out everything," said the head of Lira, Lidiya Kylvart, who happens to be the mother of Tallinn's Vice Mayor Mikhail Kylvart.

Last month Mikhail Kylvart was put under the media spotlight after Estonian security police (KAPO) released a list of individuals, companies and nations which are considered to pose a threat to Estonia. Kylvart was included due to his his links to a Russian diplomat, Yury Tsvetkov. Kylvart was captured on photo handing Tsvetkov several Russian history textbooks.

Mikhail Kylvart supervises sport and educational programs in Tallinn and campaigns for the preservation of Russian language classes in Estonian schools. The vice mayor himself claims that he is a patriot of his country, and has never done anything directed against Estonian interests.