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.