Why does Russia want instability in the Western Balkans?

Increased Russian intelligence activity and security threats over the last few weeks across the Western Balkans have troubled some NATO allied countries. Has Russia increased its activity in the region as a result of the war in Ukraine?

In this episode of #BalkansDebrief, Ilva Tare speaks to Fabian Zhilla, a Senior Fellow of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, about the national security threats posed by Russian intelligence activities and cyber attacks.

Are the Balkans prepared to fend off a hybrid war? Should the visa regime for the Russian citizens be revisited across the Balkans?


#BalkansDebrief is an online interview series presented by the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center and hosted by journalist Ilva Tare. The program offers a fresh look at the Western Balkans and examines the region’s people, culture, challenges, and opportunities.

Watch #BalkansDebrief on YouTube and listen to it as a Podcast.


The Europe Center promotes leadership, strategies and analysis to ensure a strong, ambitious and forward-looking transatlantic relationship.

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