NewsRussia's plot to destabilize Europe raises security alarms

Russia's plot to destabilize Europe raises security alarms

Fires in Europe. Is Russia behind it? "State of highest readiness"
Fires in Europe. Is Russia behind it? "State of highest readiness"
Images source: © East News | VYACHESLAV PROKOFYEV

8:12 AM EDT, May 30, 2024

Security services claim that the wave of fires and attacks on infrastructure may be part of a Russian plan to destabilize the continent, reports "The Guardian." The British newspaper emphasizes that, in light of recent events, European services have been placed on "high alert."

Media across Europe are reporting acts of sabotage aimed at European countries. As the British newspaper The Guardian reported, security services claim that the wave of fires and attacks on infrastructure may be part of a systemic attempt by Russia to destabilize the continent.

The newspaper recalls a series of unsettling events in Europe. It emphasizes that after the outbreak of a fire at Ikea in Vilnius, the Polish Prime Minister suggested that the arson could have been the work of a "foreign saboteur."

While there is no evidence that any of these incidents across the continent are coordinated, security services believe they could be part of an attempt by Moscow to destabilise the west, which has backed Ukraine, which supports Ukraine, writes "The Guardian".

In the age of social media, Russian special services may have changed tactics. Today, reaching potential people who will follow any order for the right price is easier.

"The Guardian" emphasizes that emerging concerns that the hybrid attacks may be Russia's work are so significant that the issue was raised this week at a summit of foreign and defense ministers in Brussels.

A series of unsettling events in Europe

Several large fires broke out across Europe in a few days, the largest of which broke out at Marywilska Street in Warsaw. As the Polish Prime Minister recently emphasized, investigators are checking whether Russia was involved.

However, as "The Guardian" reminds us, the number of sabotage operations is greater. Among their targets were a warehouse in the United Kingdom, a paint factory in Poland, and an Ikea store in Vilnius. The newspaper also recalls a series of cyberattacks in Germany, carried out by a group of hackers linked to Russian intelligence.

Six people were arrested shortly afterwards, including Russian nationals and dual Russian-Estonian citizens, the prosecutor said. In Germany, there are also suspicions of foreign intelligence-driven attacks in addition to a wave of cyber-attacks in 2023 by a hacker group linked to Russian intelligence, recalls "The Guardian."

Europe points the finger at Moscow

Europe is trying to defend itself. The British newspaper notes that the Lithuanian National Crisis Management Center warned businesses, including shopping centers and organizations supporting Ukraine, to increase vigilance. Meanwhile, the Dutch National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism warned of the risk of subversive operations in the Netherlands.

Yes, we are vulnerable. I think all of us are. [...] We are seeing now in several European countries that Russia is trying to destabilise us and also to intimidate us – said Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren recently. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg echoed these sentiments, admitting there has been "increased Russian intelligence activity across the alliance."

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