“Anyone who doubts that Russia will seek to fill in any political vacuum in Europe left by the United States need only look to the Balkans. In recent years, as Washington’s attention has wandered from the region, Russia has zeroed in on the opportunities for influence operations.
The main target isn’t Croatia, which is an member of the European Union and NATO; nor Serbia, which has a long history of ties to Moscow. The Kremlin is focused instead on Bosnia and Herzegovina, a Western-aligned country that is nevertheless vulnerable to destabilization, especially with elections approaching in October.
Bosnia is administratively divided between two decentralized entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has a mostly Bosniak and Croat population, and Republika Srpska, which has a Serb majority. Russia’s policy consists in encouraging the separatist instincts of the latter.” (Foreign Policy)