EU intelligence says Russia plotting across continent - FT

EU intelligence says Russia plotting across continent - FT

European intelligence agencies have warned their governments that Russia is actively preparing sabotage operations across the continent, including bombings, arson, and attacks on infrastructure, directly and through front actors, with little concern that it could lead to civilian casualties.

This is reported by The Financial Times, Ukrinform saw.

While Kremlin operatives have a long history of such operations -- and have carried out sporadic attacks in Europe in recent years -- evidence is emerging of a more aggressive and coordinated effort, according to assessments shared with the newspaper by three European countries.

The risk of state-sponsored sabotage has grown significantly, according to Thomas Haldenwang, head of Germany's domestic intelligence, who said that Russia now feels comfortable conducting operations on European soil carrying a high potential for doing harm.

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One senior European government official said clear and convincing Russian abuses were being reported through NATO security services that were coordinated and large-scale, stressing that it was time to raise awareness and focus on the threat of Russian violence to Europe. On May 2, NATO issued a statement expressing concern about the growth of malign activity by Russia on allied territory.

These concerns about Russia's intentions to inflict physical harm on its adversaries follow a series of accusations against Russia of disinformation campaigns and cyberattacks.

One of the intelligence officials said that Moscow's sabotage efforts should not be considered separately from other operations, noting that the increased activity reflects Russia's intention to exert maximum pressure in all areas. According to the source, Putin now feels emboldened and will try to push the dividing lines in Europe as much as possible - through disinformation, sabotage, or cyberattacks.

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The increase in aggression on the part of Russian intelligence also reflects the intention of Russian spies to assert themselves after the most serious failure since the Soviet Union collapse, according to intelligence.

In the weeks since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, more than 600 Russian spies operating in Europe under diplomatic cover have been expelled, which dealt a serious blow to the Kremlin's continent-wide human asset network.

In its recent report, RUSI wrote that Russia has made efforts to restore its presence in Europe, often using proxies, including members of the Russian diaspora, as well as organized crime groups with which the Kremlin has long-standing ties.

In connection with the intensification of Russian operations, domestic security services are on heightened alert, the publication writes.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, the Norwegian Intelligence Service (PST) recently exposed several Russian agents operating in Western Norway.

Meanwhile, Britain said the criminal actions committed by Russian spies in the country cause concern in the British government.

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