ARCHIV - 01.03.2022, Berlin: Auf der Russischen Botschaft in Berlin weht eine Flagge der Russischen Föderation. (Illustration zu "Verfassungsschutz erwartet mehr russische Propaganda und Spionage") Foto: Christophe Gateau/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution expects increased Russian propaganda and espionage activities in the coming months. “Russia is using issues relating to Europe’s energy supply in particular as a hybrid lever,” the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution announced on Wednesday.

With the targeted dissemination of false information, such as gas shortages and price increases, an attempt is being made to stir up fears of a possible existence-threatening energy and food shortage in Germany.

“Russian propaganda is likely to increase in the extremist milieu and fuel conspiracy narratives aimed at driving a wedge in our society,” the statement said. It is also to be expected that the Russian state “will continue to intensify and adapt its political and military reconnaissance attempts”.

According to the domestic secret service, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and its effects on the economy and the supply situation in Germany harbor a high potential for extremists to use them as instruments. It can also be observed that various actors “are increasingly focusing on this complex of topics” and want to use it for mobilization.

Since this affects both right-wing and left-wing extremists, as well as enemies of the constitution who cannot be assigned to either of the two categories, a “special evaluation” was set up to monitor these activities.

However, the magnitude of possible future anti-state protests cannot be reliably predicted at this time. “It is the task of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution to monitor whether legitimate protests are being hijacked by enemies of democracy for their own purposes,” said the President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang.

In July, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) had warned of “popular uprisings” in the event of a lack of gas deliveries in a conversation with the RND, but then put this statement into perspective and described it as exaggerated.