From denial to arrest. How the affair of Russian interference revealed in the Czech Republic left its mark on events in Europe


Suspicions of the funding of politicians from several European Union countries by the Russian Federation ahead of the upcoming European Parliament elections (June 6-9) and the background of the Prague-based pro-Russian propaganda server Voice of Europe not only made the front pages of the world’s newspapers, but also stirred up chain reactions within the EU institutions and member countries. These range from the complete denial of published information by far-right politicians in favor of the Kremlin, through calls for an immediate investigation of the affair within the European Parliament, to interventions by security forces inside member states.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala published the information of the Czech counterintelligence BIS about Russian interference in the politics of the European Union a week ago. The newspaper N has been covering the case for a long time (all articles on this matter can be found here).

According to BIS and Deník N, Russian money was supposed to flow to politicians from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Hungary and Poland in exchange for promoting Russian propaganda or an anti-Ukrainian narrative. According to these suspicions, the Russian Federation was thus trying to influence the mood within the member countries not only before the June elections.

You can read more about the revelation of the Czech counter-intelligence BIS in the original text by Zdislava Pokorná from Deník N:

According to the Ukrainian English-language news website Kyiv Independent, the affair revealed in the Czech Republic caused a wave of uproar across the continent and simultaneously indicated the extent of the Kremlin’s possible subversive operations in Europe. The website also cited Deník N and Germany’s Spiegel, which collaborated with Deník N on some findings.

Seized cash in Poland and cooperation with BIS

Shortly after the publication of information about the dismantling of the Russian network in the Czech Republic, the Polish counter-espionage service ABW also announced that it had carried out searches during which it seized almost 48,500 euros and 36,000 dollars (about two million crowns in total).

The spokesman for the coordinator of the secret services, Jacek Dobrzyński, informed that the ABW is investigating the activities of a pro-Russian espionage network directed against the member states and institutions of the European Union. According to Warsaw, the members of the network wanted to lead pro-Russian initiatives and media campaigns in the EU with the aim of promoting official Russian foreign policy.

ABW also specified, according to Deutsche Welle, that it cooperated with several other European intelligence services – especially the Czech BIS.

The findings of the N newspaper were also cited by the French Le Monde, which added that

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The article is in Czech

Tags: denial arrest affair Russian interference revealed Czech Republic left mark events Europe


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