The UK Government announced in June that it is deploying military experts to counter Russian malign influence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, saying that Moscow is backing plans by secessionist leaders who are “actively working to create further division and conflict” in the region. According to a press release by the Prime Minister’s Office:
June 30, 2022 UK military specialists will be sent to Bosnia and Herzegovina to reinforce the NATO Mission and promote stability and security in the country, the Prime Minister has announced today (Thursday 30th June). Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently facing the greatest existential threat in its post-war period, with secessionist leaders actively working to create further division and conflict. These plans are backed by Moscow as part of Putin’s drive to undermine both Bosnia’s Euro-Atlantic integration and its stability. At the request of NATO Headquarters Sarajevo, a UK military counter-disinformation expert and a civilian strategic defence adviser will be deployed to support and train the Bosnia and Herzegovinian Armed Forces. The counter-disinformation expert will bolster the NATO HQ and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s ability to resist malign influences – helping block Russian and other efforts to sow mistrust and undermine democracy in the country and region.
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The UK government also said it would provide £750,000 to establish a cyber-security center of excellence within the University of Sarajevo to bolster Bosnia and Herzegovina’s defenses against cyber attacks.
The Global Influence Operations Report has previously reported that Russia is cultivating and supporting far-right groups in Bosnia and Serbia that operate under the guise of humanitarian aid, identifying the uniformed far-right group Sveti Georgije Loncari [“St George of Loncari”] as one of the groups Russia is supporting in Bosnia. We have extensively covered Russian attempts to support political movements in Europe to foment division, including its support for secessionist groups in Spain, a far-right Presidential candidate in France, far-right politicians in Europe, or a newly founded political party in the Netherlands.