The Putin regime is extending its focus beyond Ukraine and is now eyeing Southern Europe. One of the countries involved is Serbia, which is known for its pro-Russian stance.
Shortly after the invasion of Ukraine, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Serbia in support of Russia. It is estimated that around 200,000 Russians have moved to Serbia to avoid being drafted into the war.
Now, Russia is particularly focusing on Kosovo, a country not recognized by the Putin regime and Serbia. This comes after an incident last week where around 30 armed Serbs stormed the village of Banjska in northern Kosovo and fired at police officers.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov described the situation as "extremely difficult," according to Sky News.
He emphasized that historically, there has been a very "biased attitude" towards Serbs from Kosovo and that the situation is "very, very tense."
Following the police attack that resulted in a death, the perpetrators barricaded themselves in a monastery. Armored police were required to retake the building.
The U.S. has since urged both Kosovo and Serbia to de-escalate tensions. "We urge the governments of Kosovo and Serbia to avoid actions or statements that could further exacerbate the tense situation," said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Kosovo, a former province of Serbia, has been recognized as an independent country by 116 nations, including Sweden. The majority of its 1.8 million population are Albanians. However, around 50,000 Serbs in the northern part of Kosovo have never accepted the declaration of independence from 2008 and still consider Belgrade as their capital.