Russian sabotage sweeps across Europe — report

Incidents of sabotage and espionage, likely orchestrated by Russia's military intelligence (GRU), are on the rise in Europe, Bloomberg reported on May 9, citing sources familiar with the matter.

European officials are advised to take precautionary measures to avoid the increased risk of violence from Russian operatives, the report states.

In Poland, a man was arrested for gathering information about an airport frequently used by Western officials traveling to and from Ukraine.

He is suspected of being a part of a Russian conspiracy aiming to assassinate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

An unnamed official told the journalists that similar incidents have occurred in various European capitals, and some have been part of a GRU-coordinated operation.

“Russia has been sending death squads to Europe for years — Berlin, London, Salisbury, but also other places,” Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on May 9.

“We had a Russian-recruited terrorist who tried to perform an act of terrorism in Poland a couple of months ago and I’m sure they’re trying to do that in other countries, too.”

Read also: Russian spies targeting Norway’s critical infrastructure exposed

Another unnamed official speculated that the strategy to carry out sabotage in Europe is likely approved at the highest level in Moscow.

Teija Tiilikainen, director of the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, suggested that such actions demonstrate Russia's desire to strengthen its authoritarian regime and could be a preparation for a wider conflict with the West.

The head of Estonia’s Internal Security Service, Margo Palloson, said that in 2024, around a dozen individuals suspected of working for Russian intelligence have been arrested in the country.

Meanwhile, Lithuanian intelligence has warned this week that Russia is attempting to recruit residents of the Baltic states to carry out acts sabotage.

Two men were arrested in Germany in April for planning "possible acts of sabotage" against military and industrial targets, including U.S. ones. Notably, Ukrainian troops are being trained to operate M1 Abrams tanks at the U.S. military base in Grafenwoehr.

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