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Russia is in search of new wars and Kosovo may very well be the following one – EURACTIV.com



As an alternative of in search of a diplomatic answer following the catastrophe it created with its invasion of Ukraine, Russia is in search of one other battle in order that its aggression will seem like second-class information, writes Orhan Dragaš.

Orhan Dragaš is the founder and director of the Worldwide Safety Institute primarily based in Belgrade.

Deliberate as a lightning-fast “particular army operation”, Russia’s aggression in opposition to Ukraine has been occurring for a lot too lengthy. And by the best way, Russia behaves on the world stage, it’s clear that Moscow isn’t searching for peace provides, cease-fires or negotiations. As an alternative, Russia is searching for the activation of some new wars on different sides of the world. Someplace distant, the place the apprehensive world will flip away and neglect in regards to the Ukrainian chaos Russia created.

If one other battle exploded someplace, in response to Russia’s calculation, the West must flip its cash and weapons and the eye of its public, corporations and media to that new point of interest and Ukraine would grow to be second-rate information. It will quickly be forgotten, and in such darkness, with out public assist and the availability of weapons and cash, the “operation” might simply and shortly be declared a Russian triumph. The every day counter of spent Russian billions would lastly cease.

Moscow had excessive hopes that the disaster surrounding Nancy Pelosi’s go to to Taiwan would escalate. After all, in such a scenario, Moscow wouldn’t intervene immediately. However it will not attraction for de-escalation. When Moscow formally introduced that China “has the best to take all essential measures to guard its sovereignty and territorial integrity”, it didn’t imply diplomacy. It’s “inciting” China to boost its military and assault Taiwan with all its may.

In one other disaster, nonetheless, Russia interfered extra immediately, anticipating the identical final result – a army battle. Within the current disaster within the north of Kosovo, Russia, like a vulture, noticed an opportunity to flare up the battle, and ideally bloodshed.

In these few days round 1 August, when the Kosovo authorities introduced the confiscation of license plates and identification playing cards from native Serbs and when native Serbs organised roadblocks, Russia carried out a large-scale and really aggressive hybrid operation. Its aim was to impress a battle, trigger bloodshed, after which set off Serbia’s response and the involvement of NATO (KFOR) within the armed battle.

This operation was carried out primarily by issuing a considerable amount of disinformation in a brief interval, with the “collusion” of individuals from the very best ranges of presidency in Moscow.

At important moments, by tightly managed communication channels, Russia broadcasted pretend information, such because the one {that a} Serb was wounded on the blockade close to Jarinje, that the Serbian Military was transferring its models and planes alongside the border with Kosovo, that an assault by Pristina forces on Serbs was anticipated. Falsified had been additionally statements of the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.

In that disinformation storm, Russia unfold the false narrative that the battle between Serbs and Albanians had already damaged out, that due to this, Serbian safety forces had already entered or had been about to enter Kosovo, that Belgrade’s motion was justified and that Russia would assist Serbia if it ended up in a battle with the KFOR mission, which is beneath the command of NATO.

The messages had been broadcasted by numerous web sites, accounts on social networks, and personal channels, with lots of of hundreds of followers, who till now had been identified for his or her strongly pro-Russian views, and plenty of of them belong to extremist organisations in Russia and Serbia.

Behind them are organisations and folks with shut ties to the Kremlin. The quantity of disinformation was so vital that part of it spilt over to some mainstream media in Serbia (the helpful idiots), which served as an extra channel for spreading disinformation, which was of nice significance for Russian objectives.

This hybrid operation was so sturdy and harmful that the Ministry of Defence of Serbia was compelled to urgently deny rumours that the Serbian Military had entered Kosovo. Fairly merely, this operation critically threatened the safety of Serbia, its nationwide pursuits, and particularly the safety of Serbs in Kosovo.

It was not fabricated solely in our on-line world; it was publicly supported by the participation and statements of virtually everybody necessary in Moscow – Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, spokeswoman for the Ministry of International Affairs Maria Zakharova, excessive officers of the State Duma, ambassador in Belgrade Alexander Botsan Kharchenko, even Chechen chief Ramzan Kadyrov. It was a Russian state challenge immediately geared toward Serbia. Happily, it failed, however it shouldn’t be a shock whether it is repeated.

Russia is an apparent hazard to world peace, not solely due to the aggression it launched on 24 February but in addition due to its open coverage to incite a brand new battle elsewhere on this planet as a lot as it may and as a lot as it’s allowed to.

So long as peace isn’t established in Ukraine, Russia would be the instigator of recent conflicts on this planet as a result of it sees them as a manner out. Russia doesn’t care who will go to struggle or in opposition to whom. It has no events to assist in these conflicts, together with Serbia, for which Russia is repeating that it’s its pal.

Within the international mirror, Russia sees solely itself, its army marketing campaign in opposition to Ukraine and the best way to get out of it as shortly and cheaply as doable. If the worth for that could be a new struggle on this planet, Moscow shall be pleased to contribute to creating it occur. In spite of everything, it’s already doing it.



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