Moscow is attempting to destabilise Germany by fuelling anti-immigrant tensions in the country's two million strong Russian community, intelligence chiefs warned.
In a meeting with German politicians, the head of Germany's internal intelligence agency Hans-Georg Maaßen and Guido Müller, deputy head of the country's foreign intelligence, warned of the danger of Moscow exploiting the "high mobilisation potential" of the country's Russian population, Bild reported.
They said that the population could be easily manipulated by Russia's state-owned news and propaganda machine into staging protests.
In January, members of the Russian community in Berlin staged a series of protests, after Russian media broadcast reports falsely alleging that a 13-year-old girl, 'Lisa' from the community had been kidnapped and raped by refugees.
The incident caused a diplomatic spat, after Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov waded into the controversy, accusing German police of covering up the incident. It later emerged that the girl had admitted making up the allegations.
Intelligence officers are now monitoring members of organisations that represent Germany's diaspora, intelligence chiefs told the German parliament's supervisory committee in February. They said that Russian state media was also broadcasting interviews with Russians who claimed to have been forced to flee Europe because of the refugee crisis as part of their strategy.
Today, Konstantin Romodanovsky, head of Russia's Federal Migration Service, said "mulitculturalism has failed" as Europe had failed to agree on a common strategy to deal with the refugee crisis.
"The European Commission left it up to individual nations to decide how they want to treat asylum seekers – despite the fact the policies and capabilities of member states are very different," he said.
"The EU does not have an effective system for registering incoming migrants or effective mechanisms for deporting illegal immigrants."
On Sunday, Jānis Sārts, director of Nato's Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, told the Observer that Russia was attempting to topple German chancellor Angela Merkel by whipping up fears over refugees.