The “Intelligence Week” project – students explore threats, in the face of Russia’s war against Ukraine

11 October marks the launch of the project “Intelligence Week”, implemented by the State Security Department (DSS) in cooperation with the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University (VU TSPMI). The international partner of the project is the Intelligence College in Europe.

The main theme of this year’s project is the Russian-induced war in Ukraine and the newly emerging threats to national, regional and international security. The students of political science who participated in the project carried out analytical work on new risks and threats to the Baltic States, the possibility of using non-kinetic means against NATO countries, the Kremlin regime’s propaganda narratives to Western societies, possible scenarios of the war development, the Russian regime and other security topics relevant to the war in Ukraine.

“We are delighted with this project and with the students’ willingness to become intelligence officers for a week in the face of today’s security challenges. Russia’s aggression and brutal war against Ukraine is undoubtedly the biggest shock to the global security architecture and the security environment of Europe as a whole in recent decades. The work of intelligence officers is always important, but in the context of these dramatic changes, intelligence becomes even more important. Intelligence information and its support for decision-making is never more important and valuable than in times of crisis and war. Intelligence aims to be stronger and more professional every day, providing timely and high-quality information to decision-makers. I wish that the students who will become intelligence officers for a week will not only gain interesting and valuable experience, but will also contribute to the most important and noble goal – to protect and defend the country”, said Darius Jauniškis, Director of the DSS, congratulating the participants of the project.

“Intelligence plays a special role in today’s war in Ukraine, and this role will only grow in future conflicts, where victories will depend on a correct assessment of the situation and quick and informed decisions. The growing challenge of hybrid threats to our societies gives intelligence institutions another role to play – to monitor, assess and protect. Countries with competent intelligence institutions are much more resilient to these types of threats. “The aim of the Intelligence for a Week project is to introduce students to the work of intelligence institutions and their role in state and international institutions. Through practical tasks, students will have to gather material on a specific problem and make recommendations to decision-makers. VU TSPMI is very pleased with this project, which has been organised together with the State Security Department for the third year already”, said Margarita Šešelgytė, Director of the VU TSPMI, at the event dedicated to the project launch.

François Fischer, Director of the Permanent Secretariat of the Intelligence College in Europe, also congratulated the participants. Kęstutis Budrys, Senior National Security Advisor to the President of Lithuania, presented the national security system and the role of intelligence, while José Morgado, Director of the European Union Centre for Intelligence and Situation Studies, gave a lecture on the role of intelligence in EU decision making.

The aim of the “Intelligence Week” project is to familiarise students with the work of intelligence institutions and their role in the activities of state and NATO and EU institutions. The project “Intelligence Week” aims to raise the awareness of the younger generation about national and international security threats, to strengthen the citizenship and awareness of the younger generation, to introduce the peculiarities of the work of the intelligence institutions, and to promote the work of intelligence officers. The aim is to encourage and inspire future leaders to pursue a career in intelligence, to use their talents and knowledge to strengthen the country and defend it against hostile forces.

The project involves more than 50 political science students who will carry out analytical work on new risks and threats to the Baltic States, the possibility of using non-kinetic means against NATO countries, the Kremlin regime’s propaganda narratives to Western societies, possible war scenarios, the Russian regime, and other security issues relevant to the war in Ukraine.

The students’ projects will be evaluated, and the best work will be selected by a jury consisting of representatives from the DSS, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, VU TSPMI and the Intelligence College In Europe. The Intelligence Week project was launched in 2019 as one of the events marking the Lithuanian Intelligence Day, which is celebrated annually on 27 October.