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Russia conducting large-scale sabotage campaign to disrupt military supplies to Ukraine – NYT

Sunday, 26 May 2024, 19:50
Russia conducting large-scale sabotage campaign to disrupt military supplies to Ukraine – NYT
Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin. Photo: Getty Images

Russian secret services are extending the scale of their European sabotage operations aimed at disrupting the supply of military aid to Ukraine.

Source: European Pravda with reference to The New York Times

Details: The NYT has reported that representatives of US and allied intelligence services are tracking an increase in the number of low-level sabotage operations in Europe, which they believe are part of a Russian campaign to undermine support for Ukraine’s war effort.


These operations have mostly been arson or attempted arson, including a warehouse in the UK, a paint factory in Poland, houses in Latvia and an IKEA store in Lithuania.

Russian operatives are also reported to have been arrested on charges of plotting attacks on US military bases.

These actions may appear random, but the American and European security officials said they are part of a concerted Russian campaign to slow the supply of weapons to Kyiv and make it look as if opposition to support for Ukraine is growing.


The campaign is being run by Russia’s military intelligence, the officials said.

The attacks have not – at least so far – interrupted the flow of weapons to Ukraine, and indeed many of the targets are not directly related to the war. But some security officials say Russia is trying to sow fear and force European nations to up security measures throughout the weapons supply chain, increasing costs and slowing the pace of transfers.

The US and European officials said Russia is quite cautious when it comes to its sabotage operations. Russia wants to attract attention to the mystery blazes, but not so much that Moscow is directly blamed.

A characteristic feature of Russia’s sabotage campaign is its use of locals recruited from European countries. This is done partly to make it harder to detect attacks and to create the impression that they are the result of opposition to support for Ukraine within that country.

Amid the growing concern about sabotage, NATO ambassadors will meet with Avril Haines, US Director of National Intelligence, who will provide an intelligence briefing on Russia’s war in Ukraine and discuss Moscow’s covert sabotage campaign in Europe.


Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk conceded that Russian secret services may have been behind an arson attack on a Warsaw shopping mall earlier this month, but he urged the public to refrain from speculation until the investigation is complete.

There have been several cases of arson in European countries, and some states, particularly Lithuania and Estonia, have publicly speculated that Russia may have been behind them.

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