VEKSA

(Estonian Väliseestlastega Kultuurisidemete Arendamise Ühing, Society for the Development of Cultural Ties with Estonians Abroad)

Soviet Estonian organisation developing cultural relations with Estonians in exile, which also dealt in espionage

VEKSA was established in 1960 in Tallinn with the official aim of making cultural communication between Estonians at home and abroad more active. The Society was financed by the Soviet secret police KGB, who used the organisation in its intelligence work. The VEKSA board always contained one KGB operative, who supervised the society’s intelligence work and formally occupied the post of executive secretary or deputy chairman. One of the aims of VEKSA was recruiting agents among the exiled Estonians and influencing the ideology of Estonians in exile. At the same time the Society offered a rare opportunity for Soviet Estonian cultural figures and scientists to visit Western countries. Various exiled Estonians also came to Estonia financed by VEKSA. Everybody who travelled on VEKSA money had to present surveys of the places they visited and people they met. The Society organised several events in exile communities that were vehicles of Soviet ideology, although occasionally high-level Estonian culture was introduced abroad as well. VEKSA operated until 1990.

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