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Headline News: 28/12/2022
• Serbia Puts Troops on High Alert as Tensions with Kosovo Rise
• The CIA is Directing Sabotage Attacks inside Russia
Serbia Puts Troops on High Alert as Tensions with Kosovo Rise
Belgrade has put the army on a heightened state of alert due to tensions with neighbouring Kosovo multiple times in recent years. On 10 December, Serbs in northern Kosovo set up barricades to protest against the arrest of an ex-policeman suspected of being involved in attacks against ethnic Albanian police officers. The blockades coincided with a rise in reported shootings, the latest on Sunday, according to NATO-led peacekeeping force KFOR. “Serbia’s president ... ordered the Serbian army to be on the highest level of combat readiness, that is to the level of the use of armed force,” Vučević said in a statement on Monday. Northern Kosovo has been especially on edge since November when hundreds of ethnic Serb workers in the Kosovo police as well as the judicial branch, such as judges and prosecutors, walked off the job. They were protesting a controversial decision to ban Serbs living in Kosovo from using Belgrade-issued licence plates – a policy that was eventually scrapped by Pristina.
The CIA is Directing Sabotage Attacks inside Russia
The CIA has been using a European NATO country’s intelligence services to conduct sabotage attacks inside Russia since the February invasion of Ukraine, investigative journalist Jack Murphy reported on Saturday, citing unnamed former US intelligence and military officials. The report said that no US personnel are on the ground in Russia but that the operations are being directed by the CIA. The US is using an ally’s intelligence services to add an extra layer of plausible deniability, and a former US special operations official told Murphy that layer was a major factor in President Biden signing off on the attacks. The sabotage operations that the CIA is overseeing require a presidential finding. President Obama signed a finding before he left office that allowed covert action against Russia over allegations that Moscow interfered in the 2016 election, a claim that has never been proven. In his note at the end of the report, Murphy said that he published the story to inform the public. “Indeed, the Russian government knows perfectly well who is sponsoring these sabotage strikes. Moreover, the intelligence community wants them to know. The only party left in the dark is the public at large, left unaware of the shadow war taking place behind the scenes,” he wrote.