Russia chooses state terrorism against NATO countries

Two men suspected of having been recruited by Russian intelligence services have been arrested in Bavaria on charges of planning arson and explosive attacks on military infrastructure and industrial sites in Germany. These attacks were intended to sabotage aid to Kiev and to monitor NATO military bases in the country. After the official announcement of the arrests, the German Government summoned the Russian Ambassador through the Foreign Minister and additional security measures were introduced by the Ministry of the Interior.

Nancy Faeser, head of the Interior, reiterated Germany's commitment to supporting Ukraine, stating that they will not be intimidated by Russian actions: « Our security personnel avoided possible bomb attacks, which should have hit and undermined the aid military to Ukraine. We will not be frightened and will continue to massively support Ukraine.” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock expressed her concern about the accusations against Russia during a G7 meeting, declaring that “Germany will not allow terrorism to be brought to its territory.”

The main accused, Dieter S. according to Der Spiegel, had been exchanging information with a person linked to the Russian secret services since October 2023: the objective was to study possible acts of sabotage in Germany. The man reportedly declared himself “ready to commit explosive attacks and arson, especially against military infrastructure and industrial sites in Germany”. According to investigators, Dieter S. took photos and filmed some potential targets, such as means of transport and military equipment, and then communicated this information to his contact. Dieter S. is also accused of belonging to a foreign terrorist organization and prosecutors suspect that he fought in an armed unit of the «Donetsk People's Republic» in eastern Ukraine between 2014 and 2016. The other suspect, Alexander J., instead reached Dieter S. from the end of March 2024. Investigations revealed that Dieter S. intended to attack military infrastructure and industrial sites, including possible targets such as American military bases in Germany. Alexander J. allegedly assisted Dieter S. in coordinating these attacks.

These arrests have raised questions about Germany's vulnerability to possible Russian reprisals for supporting Ukraine. Furthermore, in recent days another Russian spy was arrested in Poland, accused of planning an attack against Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. But what is worrying is that the General Directorate for Military Information (Glavnoe razvedyvatel'noe upravlenie- GRU), Moscow's military intelligence which depends directly on the General Staff of the Russian Federation, has been repeatedly accused of hacking, poisoning, sabotage and espionage around the world, for the first time it becomes the protagonist of an episode of state terrorism against a NATO country. The Foreign Information Service (Služba vnešnej razvedki – SVR) which deals with security activities and combating threats coming from or towards foreign countries is also likely to have had a role.

During a visit to Brussels, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz underlined the importance of German support for Ukraine, recalling that the German Government has provided two Patriot anti-aircraft defense systems and encouraging the allies to do their part. Robert Habeck, vice chancellor, went to Kiev to discuss reconstruction. These events highlight the growing tensions between Russia and its European neighbors, with Germany and Poland taking stringent measures against alleged espionage and sabotage activities orchestrated by Russia now choosing the weapon of state terrorism against NATO countries .