Former president and prime minister of Czechia appeared Russian influence platform

Former Czech president Václav Klaus, former prime minister Jiří Paroubek, and former Czech minister Cyril Svoboda appeared on the platform Voice of Europe, apparently without knowing what a dubious outlet it was, Tyzden.sk reported.

Czech politicians appeared on Russian influence platform Voice of Europe

The Czech and Belgian government officials stated, Voice of Europe was a pro-Russian influence project run from Moscow by the Ukrainian traitor Viktor Medvedchuk, a former pro-Russian Ukrainian party leader and a close Putin’s ally, who financed its operation. Polish and Czech intelligence services made the revelations about a Russian influence network in Europe last week.

Czech counterintelligence, in cooperation with the Ukrainian SBU, uncovered the Russian influence network targeting members of the European Parliament and likely other political figures. According to Ukrinform, the pro-Russian network paid politicians to promote Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, and undermine Europe’s aid to Ukraine, in European media. They allegedly published anti-Ukrainian and anti-European articles on the Voice of Europe news website.

According to the agency’s sources, the network’s members sought to get as many pro-Russian politicians into the European Parliament as possible in the June elections.

As Reflex magazine reported, among others, former top Czech politicians with years of international experience, including former President Václav Klaus, former Prime Minister Jiří Paroubek, and former KDU-ČSL chairman and ex-minister Cyril Svoboda, were among the politicians who appeared on the Russian-paid website.

Czech counterintelligence agency disclosed Russian influence network

On the X network, the Czech secret service BIS wrote that its operation revealed how Russia is influential on EU countries’ territory and how it tries to influence political processes. Meanwhile, the Denik N reported that the BIS had uncovered a Russian-organized network that was trying to influence the European Parliament elections in various European countries. 

The counterintelligence agency reported that anti-system politicians from Germany were receiving cash in Prague, while a pro-Russian news website was receiving additional funding.

In addition to former top Czech politicians, the Russian-paid server was also supposed to feature Petr Bystron, a federal MP for the German political party Alternative for Germany (AfD), and Jindřich Rajchl, a representative of the PRO movement.

List of politicians promoted by Russian influence platform

Following the Czech and Belgian authorities statements about Russia’s attempts to bribe MEPs to promote its propaganda through the Voice of Europe website, researchers found which European politicians were promoted by this website.

Anton Shekhovtsov, a visiting professor and researcher at Central European University and at the Research Center for the History of Transformations, published a list of European politicians who were promoted by the Russian agents of influence via its recently disclosed front organization “Voice of Europe” on YouTube, starting in August 2023.

The list includes politicians known for pushing pro-Kremlin agendas and making pro-Russian statements, such as German far-right leader Maximilian Krah, French nationalist Thierry Mariani, Slovak right radical Milan Uhrík, and the radical leader of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik.

Putin’s ally Medvedchuk behind the organization

Ukraine has placed Viktor Medvedchuk under house arrest following accusations of treason and other anti-state offenses. After the start of the Russian invasion, Medvedchuk managed to escape, but Ukrainian security services captured him in April 2022, subsequently exchanging him for reportedly up to two hundred Ukrainian prisoners of war who were defenders of the Mariupol steel plant Azovstal. He now lives in Moscow.

The intelligence services of other EU countries are reportedly investigating the activities of the pro-Russian network. According to an earlier statement by Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, the Belgian and Czech intelligence services worked together to dismantle the Russian propaganda network. 

Following these developments, in Poland, police conducted searches related to the Russian influence case. Jacek Dobrzyński, spokesperson for the Minister’s Coordinator of Special Services, revealed that the Internal Security Agency (ABW) conducted searches to investigate Russian espionage activities.

We can assume that such raids will continue and new investigations will be launched in relation to the Russian influence network in Europe. We should expect new searches and revelations in other EU countries.

In our investigation we discovered pro-Russian news websites networks in Europe. Find out more in this article:

Pro-Russian websites network in Europe that serves Russia’s information warfare
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