Russian fueling tension in Balkans says Ukraine’s military intelligence — exclusive

Andriy Yusov
Andriy Yusov

Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) believes Russia is fueling tensions in the Balkans, according to spokesman Andriy Yusov on Nov. 18.

“We understand that in the Balkans, they traditionally have broad opportunities, both in terms of Russian special services and Russian propaganda and financial influence. And, of course, they use it, simultaneously addressing a whole range of tasks,” said Yusov.

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Russia hopes to divert attention from the war against Ukraine and pursue hostile action against Kyiv’s allies, including NATO countries and the European Union, Yusov said.

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President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has echoed these concerns, confirming Russia’s plans to instigate conflict in the Balkans.

“Pay attention to the Balkans. Trust me, we have information. Russia has a long-term plan. (After) the Middle East, the second distraction will be the Balkans,” Zelenskyy said.

“If our partners do nothing now, there will be such an explosion again, and again, it’s not a new story. The crisis in their relations has been long-standing. So Russia will invest to make one Balkan country fight with another today.”

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