May 18 2021, 10:44 am

Surge Of Pro-Kremlin Disinformation In Czech Republic Following Czech Claims Of Russian Bombings

Seman­tic Visions, a Czech pri­vate intel­li­gence firm, is report­ing that there has been a dra­mat­ic surge in pro-Krem­lin dis­in­for­ma­tion fol­low­ing the diplo­mat­ic clash between Prague and Moscow over alleged Russ­ian intel­li­gence-linked ter­ror­ist attacks in the Czech Repub­lic. Accord­ing to a Seman­tic Visions report:

May 4, 2021 Czech  dis­in­for­ma­tion  sources  are  push­ing  staunch­ly  pro-Krem­lin  cov­er­age  of  the  GRU scan­dal,  in  line  with  their  estab­lished  his­to­ry  of  Krem­lin-aligned  and  anti-West­ern agi­ta­tion. These sources fre­quent­ly ampli­fy Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion nar­ra­tives and offi­cial Krem­lin talk­ing points, and sup­port domes­tic polit­i­cal actors that advo­cate pop­ulist, pro-Krem­lin  posi­tions,  like  the  far-right SPD par­ty, the Com­mu­nist Par­ty (KSČM), and the noto­ri­ous­ly  Putin-friend­ly Czech pres­i­dent, Miloš Zeman. […]

The Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion response to the dis­clo­sure of the GRU’s role in Vrbětice was imme­di­ate and has fol­lowed the same blue­print as in oth­er cas­es where Russia’s crim­i­nal activ­i­ty  has  been  exposed,  like  the  annex­a­tion  of  Crimea  and  the  Skri­pal  poi­son­ing. Russ­ian  offi­cials  and  pro-gov­ern­ment  media  deny  any  Russ­ian  involve­ment  in  the explo­sion and dis­miss the Czech government’s response as an attempt to score points in Washington’s “war of sanctions”.

Read the full report here.

In April, the Czech Republic’s accused Rus­sia of being respon­si­ble for a dead­ly 2014 ware­house blast and expelled 18 Russ­ian diplo­mats over the inci­dent, which left two peo­ple dead.

Recent GIOR report­ing on Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion has included:

  • In April, we report­ed about a NATO study assess­ing Lithuania’s coun­ter­mea­sures direct­ed at Russ­ian disinformation
  • In April, we report­ed that tricked politi­cians from the Nether­lands, Latvia, Esto­nia, and Britain into hold­ing video calls with some­one using deep­fake tech­nol­o­gy to imper­son­ate the chief of staff of Russ­ian oppo­si­tion fig­ure Alex­ey Navalny.
  • In April, a GIOR inves­ti­ga­tion revealed how Rus­sia is using for­mer West­ern diplo­mats and jour­nal­ists to spread pro-Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da and anti-West­ern con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries in the West.


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