Laura Kelly writes for The Hill about problems posed by Russia’s latest military actions.

Russia’s increasing use of hybrid and gray-zone attacks against European countries is posing a major challenge for the U.S. and NATO: how to respond without sparking a major conflict with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Baltic countries, Poland and the Czech Republic in particular, are raising alarm that acts of sabotage — and sometimes fatal attacks against individuals — allegedly sponsored by Russia are a growing threat to Europe and the defensive alliance. 

“Russia is throwing at us all the time new challenges, new risks, and hybrid has turned to be one of the serious ones for the alliance,” Estonia’s ambassador to NATO, Jüri Luik, said in an interview with The Hill in Washington last week. 

“In all seriousness, we have to respond because if we don’t respond, this will grow. And Russia will feel that there are no limits to what they can do in our countries, and obviously, there is also a discussion among allies about what would be the best responses.”

Just in the past few weeks, Estonia has raised alarm that Russia was behind the GPS jamming and disrupting of a commercial flight, and that Russia is sowing confusion along the border by removing maritime border lines. 

Poland has blamed the recent death of a Polish border guard as part of the larger, hybrid threat from Belarus and directed by Moscow. Lithuania has said Russia was “likely” behind a March attack on a Russian political dissident in Vilnius.

A hacking group based in Russia is accused of carrying out a dangerous cyberattack against major hospitals in London this month, and instances of arson across NATO countries — targeting supply warehouses for Ukraine but also civilian sites like an Ikea in Lithuania — have raised suspicions of Russian sabotage.