Russia-Ukraine War

Destabilization, Secession, and the Looming Threat of a New War

Main image to the post Destabilization, Secession, and the Looming Threat of a New War

Russia is accused of attempting to destabilize a country, potentially leading to a civil war in Europe. This alleged action is seen as a further attempt to undermine security and peace in the West. The specter of a civil war in Europe is not a new one. The 1990s saw a brutal and bloody conflict between the former republics of Yugoslavia, lasting from April 1992 to November 1995. The Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) eventually brought an end to the fighting, but not before an estimated 100,000 people were killed and two million displaced. The war sent shockwaves through Europe, threatening years of peace and stability.

As part of the DPA, Republika Srpska, a Serbian state, was granted official status within Bosnia Herzegovina. Recently, Republika Srpska's President Milorad Dodik met with Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg, ostensibly attending the International Economic Forum. Following the meeting, Dodik declared his republic's intention to hold a referendum on independence from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This potential plebiscite could jeopardize the peace deal and plunge the Balkans back into civil war. Dodik, while claiming he does not want to create instability, insists the Dayton peace deal must be "terminated." He has stated that a decision to hold the referendum has been made, but a specific date has not yet been set.

Western analysts believe Moscow is using the ongoing instability in the Balkans to maintain its influence and weaken the EU and NATO. The Institute for the Study of War suggests that the Kremlin's efforts to destabilize the Balkans and dismantle the Dayton Accords are part of a larger strategy to divide and distract Europe.

More than two decades after the Yugoslav wars, the political arrangements designed to balance the claims of various ethnic and religious communities are becoming increasingly fragile. While much of the region seeks closer ties with the EU and NATO, Moscow is attempting to exploit existing tensions to hinder these efforts.

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Round userpic of the post author Bella Ciao
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May 21, 2023 | 05:09