Russia-Europe relations: How Russian state-sanctioned propaganda machine twists reality in Europe

13:32 Sep. 2, 2016

How Russian state-sanctioned propaganda machine twists reality in Europe

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his visit to the new headquarters of "Russia Today" TV channel in Moscow, Russia (AP Photo)

Czech Republic published an annual security report, exposing Russian information war in the country

The Security Information Service of the Czech Republic [BIS] has published an annual report, revealing that Russian Intelligence Service waged a propaganda war in the country in 2015. 

Prague said, the Kremlin's specialists were the most active foreign intelligence in the last year, along with China. The report established that Moscow had focused on ‘the information war regarding the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts' as well as political, technical, scientific and economic espionage in general.

Read also: Gun-Toting Diplomats: How Donetsk separatists create myth about their consulate in EU

‘A large number of Russian intelligence officers were active under diplomatic cover of the Russian Embassy. Unlike intelligence officials of partner states, Russian (and some other) intelligence officers did not declare their status to the BIS. Such clandestine behavior concealing the affiliation to an intelligence services clearly signals activities threatening the security and other interests of the Czech Republic', the report claimed.

According to the document, Russia's efforts were spread over several spheres, including foundation of puppet organizations to provoke social and political tensions in the Czech Republic, supporting populists and extremists, damaging Ukrainian reputation and many more.

‘The above-mentioned activities pose a threat to the Czech Republic, EU and NATO not only in relation to the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts. The infrastructure created for achieving these goals will not disappear with the end of the two conflicts. It can be used to destabilize or manipulate Czech society or political environment at any time, if Russia wishes to do so', the report stressed.

Read also: Special division to fight Russian propaganda in Czechia

The report arrived right at the time, when Russian-backed Donetsk separatists were in the process of opening the so-called representative center in Ostrava, Eastern Czech Republic.

The organization was launched by Nela Liskova, a known pro-Russian and anti-Western figure, who had previously visited the separatist held parts of Eastern Ukraine, was pictured wearing a military uniform with a combatant insignia, and called official Ukrainian government Junta on more than a few occasions.

The fact that the flag of the militant republic was seen flying over the city, triggered harsh protests in Ukraine and an immediate reaction from Prague. Czech Foreign Ministry even vowed to go to court in order to shut down the organization, posing as an official diplomatic center. 

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