Information war: Czech Republic sets up anti-propaganda unit

12:57 Oct. 21, 2016

Czech Republic sets up anti-propaganda unit

Children hold a Soviet flag as they place flowers during a ceremony to honour the Victory Day at the Soviet cemetery on May 9, 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic. Russia celebrates the Victory Day and the end of the WWII war on May 9. (Photo by Matej Divizna/

Prague starts to fight aggressive Russian influence in the country

The Czech interior ministry wants to create a separate unit that would fight propaganda from Russia and other countries, Reuters reports. Last month Czechia reported that Russia conducts an information war in the country and builds a network of groups and agents, aiming to destabilize the Czech Republic. 

The newly organized 20-member unit will counter misinformation in the public domain and train public officials to withstand propaganda. 

Read more EU feels the pressure of Russian and ISIS propaganda

The center will need to be able to respond almost in real-time to various misinformation, using Facebook, Twitter and other means of communication, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said.

Dozens of websites in the Czech Republic, home to 30,000 Russians as of a 2011 census, promote Moscow's stance toward the West.

Read more Poll reveals Hungary as the most EU and NATO-friendly country in Central Europe (infographics)

Chovanec said an opinion poll showed a quarter of people believe what they read on "alternative" news websites.

The Czech Republic has stuck to the common European Union stance toward Russia.

Read more How Russian state-sanctioned propaganda machine twists reality in Europe

But a number of politicians - in particular, president Milos Zeman - have echoed Russia's views on the situation in eastern Ukraine, including its insistence that no Russian troops are there, and spoken out against economic sanctions on Russia.

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