In the face of rising tensions, Russian President Vladimir Putin's main strategic goal is to launch hybrid aggression against NATO where the Alliance is weakest. Recent months have shown that due to the failure in Ukraine, the Kremlin has changed its strategy and is now betting on the weakening and collapse of NATO.

This was reported by The Telegraph.

Due to the military setback in Ukraine, the immediate threat to Poland and the Baltic states has somewhat decreased, but now Russia is looking for NATO's weak point. The Balkans, NATO's weakest flank, are likely to be a new point for Moscow's destabilizing efforts.

Last week, for example, a group of armed Serbs ambushed a police patrol in Kosovo, which eventually ended in a brief battle and the death of one policeman and three Serbs. This escalation has been described as one of the most serious since 2008, when Kosovo declared independence from Serbia.

Kosovo's leaders called it a terrorist attack. And Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić denied any involvement, complaining to Russia's ambassador to Serbia that Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti was carrying out "brutal ethnic cleansing" with Western support.

"This escalation is Moscow's dream. Serbia and Russia have been preparing Serbs for months to escalate in Kosovo, fueling tensions in the Balkans to distract Western attention from the war in Ukraine. They have flooded the information space with propaganda that repeats old claims that Kosovo belongs to Serbia, such rhetoric has previously caused ethnic violence in the region," the newspaper writes.

Russia was quick to take advantage of the incident, with a Russian spokesman saying "additional pressure from the West" was putting "the entire Balkan region on a dangerous brink." By using hybrid methods without sending troops to the region, Putin seeks to achieve three goals: to distract the West from Ukraine, to strengthen Moscow's position in the region, and to give the Kremlin leverage over Western powers, blackmailing them with the threat of escalating the conflict in the region.

NATO has announced that it is stepping up its troop presence in Kosovo – the UK Ministry of Defence has handed over command of an army battalion to NATO to provide assistance – but it must do more and quickly to quell the violence and warn Russia and Serbia.

Another Kosovo crisis could easily spill over into North Macedonia, a NATO member state, and would have serious consequences for European defense at a time when the U.S. is distracted by the upcoming elections. Despite NATO's overall military superiority, it has a weak position in the Balkans, and Russia continues to defeat it there. It is time for NATO to strengthen its presence in the region and put Russia on the defensive," The Telegraph writes.

To recap, the President of Latvia named three factors that will force the Russian Federation to end the war in Ukraine.