12:57 Oct. 21, 2016
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.
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.
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.
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.