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WW3 fears explode as ‘network of Russian agents’ poised to attack NATO officials

World War 3 fears have exploded after an expert warned “networks of Russian agents” around the globe that could potentially be used to attack NATO officials.

The comments come following a report from a US official this weekend suggesting that Russia was behind an incident involving a US Defence Department official at a NATO summit in Lithuania last year.

The Pentagon confirmed on Monday that a senior Defence Department official who attended the 2023 summit in Vilnius had symptoms similar to those reported by US officials who have experienced “Havana syndrome.”

Still under investigation, Havana syndrome includes a string of health problems dating back to 2016, when officials working at the US Embassy in Havana reported sudden unexplained head pressure, head or ear pain, or dizziness.

The Pentagon’s statement was part of a “60 Minutes” report on Sunday that suggested Russia was behind the incident at last year’s summit.

Mykola Volkivskyi, a former advisor to Ukraine’s parliament, exclusively told the Daily Express that Russia has a “network of agents around the world” that could potentially attack Western officials or cross other “red lines”.

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Volkivskyi said: “In July 2023 I also participated in the NATO summit in Vilnius. I remember that unprecedented security measures were observed in Vilnius – additional passport checks at the airport, and Lithuanian security on the streets.

“Although even there, according to the latest statements, the Pentagon representative who attended the NATO summit in Vilnius had symptoms similar to the ‘Havana syndrome’. Russian intelligence services continue to operate using their agents around the world.

“Thus, such crossing of red lines and [these] methods of warfare may further influence the conflict between NATO and Russia. Russia has a network of agents around the world, including in Western countries. As long as they are operating it will be a threat.”

Volkivskyi also pointed to Russian missiles entering NATO airspace as a potential trigger for global conflict. Last week, Poland scrambled fighter jets after missiles fired by Russia entered its airspace.

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Deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh confirmed the incident at last year’s summit to reporters on Monday, saying: “I can confirm that a senior DOD official experienced symptoms similar to those reported in anomalous health incidents.”

Singh referred to questions on whether Russia had a role in the event to the intelligence community, which is still investigating.

The official, who was not identified, was not part of Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin’s official travelling delegation to Vilnius, Singh said, but was there “separately, attending meetings that were part of the NATO summit.”

Singh did not say whether the affected defence official had to seek further medical care, retire or cease performing duties, citing medical privacy.

In February, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in its 2024 threat assessment found that it was “unlikely” that a foreign adversary was responsible for causing the mysterious ailments but noted that US intelligence agencies had varying levels of confidence in that assessment.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters on Monday the department has confidence in that assessment.

Miller said: “It has been the broad conclusion of the intelligence community since March 2023 that is unlikely a foreign adversary is responsible for these anomalous health incidents.

“It’s something that the intelligence community has investigated extensively and continues to look at. We will look at new information as it comes in and make assessments inside the State Department and with our intelligence community.”


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