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Deník N

European politicians on Putin’s payroll. Russians attempted to influence European elections from Prague

Odkrývání proruské vlivové sítě sice začalo v Česku, postupně se ale rozrůstá do dalších evropských zemí. Ilustrace: Deník N / Adobe Stock
Odkrývání proruské vlivové sítě sice začalo v Česku, postupně se ale rozrůstá do dalších evropských zemí. Ilustrace: Deník N / Adobe Stock

The Security Information Service (Bezpečnostní informační služba, BIS), Czech intelligence agency, has uncovered a Russian-organized network that attempted to influence elections to the European Parliament in various European countries. According to counterintelligence, cash was being handed over to anti-establishment politicians from Germany or Belgium in Prague, while other funds were directed towards the operation of a pro-Russian news website. We are describing the details of one of the largest exposed Russian influence operations in recent years.

The government of Petr Fiala has added two more individuals and one company to the Czech sanctions list. The decision is related to the recent disclosure by the BIS, which indicates that Russians in Prague are attempting to influence elections to the European Parliament in Germany, France, or Belgium.

The primary players in the influence network, according to counterintelligence, were two Ukrainian businessmen and politicians with close ties to Russia – Viktor Medvedchuk and his close associate Artem Marchevsky. In addition to them, the government included the Czech company Voice of Europe, which is based in the center of Prague and operates a pro-Russian news website, on the sanctions list.

Once someone is placed on the sanctions list, the Financial Analytical Office freezes their assets. However, according to a source from the Ministry of Finance the company Voice of Europe will be able to continue operating. „However, its accounts and assets will be frozen and profits will not be transferred to individuals connected to the company,“ the source explains.

Based on information from several well-informed sources, we describe how the Russian scheme worked.

The BIS

Tento článek je exkluzivním obsahem pro předplatitele Deníku N.

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