Branch of Russian enforcers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

One example of the work of Russian special services in the Czech Republic is an organization called the All-Cossack Union of the Czech Lands and Slovakia (Všekozácký svaz Českých zemí a Slovenska)

It must be admitted that after the Kremlin’s open use of “Cossacks” to invade Ukraine, any mention of “Russian Cossacks” should have caused European security agencies to be at least concerned.

To establish in more detail what exactly these “Cossacks” are bringing to the European information space, and who the “Ataman of the Všekozácký svaz (Cossack army) in Czech and Slovene, Cossack Colonel Dzyuba M.A.”

Head of the Všekozácký svaz (Cossack army) in Czech and Slovene, Cossack Colonel Mikhail Dzyuba

He came to the Czech Republic in the late 1990s, when he was discharged from the Russian police in Krasnodar. He told the Russian newspaper Kommersant that he initially invested $30,000 in a local bar, but then sold it. One can only assume how he earned his start-up capital in the early 1990s, at a time when you could rent an apartment in the city center for $20.

Passport of Mikhail Dzyuba as a member of the Cossack Society

His next business attempt was to organize the sale of Russian crossovers UAZ in the Czech Republic. For obvious reasons, ordinary Czechs did not buy the miracle of the Russian automotive industry.

As a result, Dzyuba got money from somewhere and bought a napkin factory, which 10 years ago brought him 100 thousand euros a year. Dzyuba also planned to put his Cossack activities on the road: he would transport a Cossack band for money and sell tours to the Kuban to the Czechs. It is not known whether the business was successful.

However, the “traditional” Cossack festivals, rallies, and pickets of Dzyuba and his fellow Cossacks even caused concern among the Czech government: a special commission considered a report on the threat of Cossacks to national security. However, the danger was later recognized as exaggerated.

A few years ago, Dzyuba and the Czech and Slovak Cossack communities hosted motorcycle rallies of the Night Wolves, Putin’s favorite bikers who, in celebration of the “great victory,” traveled across Europe with anti-NATO and pro-Russian rallies. Dzyuba himself went to speak at the State Duma of Russia.

Existential Threat

In total, since February 22, 2022, only about 6000 Cossacks have gone to the area of the so-called Special Military Operation. This number is divided into four Cossack detachments – Don named after Archangel Michael, Yermak, Kuban, and Tavrida. At the moment, additional units are being formed on the territory of Russia and their combat coordination is underway.

Part of the personnel of the Cossack units has already been withdrawn from the combat zone as part of a planned rotation, and units of several hundred people are only now being prepared to replace them.

Armed units of Cossacks involved in the Russian invasion of Ukraine

What are the risks that these sleeper agents of Russia will wake up at the most convenient moment under the guise of some “people’s militia”? Is it possible to minimize their negative impact so as not to violate the right to freely express one’s own opinions, study and disseminate one’s own culture, traditions, and customs? We leave these questions open.

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