Russian influence network in Europe: list of promoted politicians

The Russian influence network in Europe, which covered controlled media outlets and loyal politicians, has got faces. 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.

List of European politicians promoted by pro-Russian 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.

  • Thierry Baudet (Netherlands, FvD)
  • Petr Bystron (Germany, AfD)
  • Ján Čarnogurský (Slovakia)
  • Patricia Chagnon (France, RN)
  • Milorad Dodik (Republika Srpska)
  • Filip Dewinter (Belgium, VB)
  • Francesca Donato (Italy, DC)
  • Matteo Gazzini (Italy, FI)
  • Marcel De Graaff (Netherlands, FvD)
  • Ladislav Ilčić (Croatia, HS)
  • Janez Janša (Slovenia)
  • Hervé Juvin (France)
  • Erik Kaliňák (Slovakia, SMER)
  • Václav Klaus (Czechia)
  • Maximilian Krah (Germany, AfD)
  • Joachim Kuhs (Germany, AfD)
  • Zuzana Majerová (Czechia, Trikolóra)
  • Thierry Mariani (France, RN)
  • Miroslav Radačovsky (Slovakia)
  • Jindřich Rajchl (Czechia, PRO 2022)
  • Cyril Svoboda (Czechia)
  • Hermann Tertsch (VOX, Spain)
  • Milan Uhrík (Slovakia)
  • Tom Vandendriessche (Belgium, VB)

Czech counterintelligence agency disclosed a Russian influence network

Last week, the Czech counterintelligence agency BIS disclosed a Russian influence network that aimed to influence the European Parliament elections. According to the Czech media, the exposed network aimed to influence politicians in six countries: Poland, Hungary, Germany, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

The Czech counterintelligence agency discovered a propaganda network funded by the Kremlin as part of a Russian influence campaign in the EU. It is believed to have used the now-closed Voice of Europe news website to incite opposition to Ukraine’s aid in its defense war against Russia.

The Czech government then placed sanctions on the website’s owners as well as tycoon Viktor Medvedchuk, a former Ukrainian politician and close ally of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

“The BIS operation revealed how Russia exerts influence on the territory of the European Union and attempts to influence political processes in our countries,” the BIS agency stated on its official X network page.

The Czech government has imposed sanctions on those involved for “promoting the interests of the foreign policy of the Russian Federation and political and propaganda activities aimed against the territorial integrity, independence, stability, and security of Ukraine.”

The Denik N portal, which spoke with people familiar with the case, wrote that anti-establishment lawmakers from the German far-right AfD party in Prague received money.

Politicians in other EU countries allegedly received payments as well. According to reports, the countries other than Germany included France, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Hungary.

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.

The alleged espionage actions targeted EU member states and EU institutions. During the ABW operation, EUR 48,500 and USD 36,000 were seized, according to Dobrzyński. He stressed that, in addition to the searches, preliminary interrogations in the case were undertaken, and that additional procedural procedures will be taken in the coming days.

Poland’s National Public Prosecutor’s Office stated that the ABW’s measures, which were carried out at the prosecutor’s request, were part of an investigation into Russia’s operations to influence EU countries.

It is assumed that these 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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