DISINFO: 2014 Vrbětice explosion is being used as part of a planned disinformation campaign
Vrbetice explosion Russophobia Anti-Russian

DISINFO: 2014 Vrbětice explosion is being used as part of a planned disinformation campaign


Vrbětice explosion case is part of a planned disinformation campaign targeting Russia. There is an ongoing anti-Russian campaign waged in Czechia.


Part of a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative according to which Russia is a victim of a Western anti-Russian campaign driven by Russophobia. This narrative is employed as a way to deflect accusations of wrongdoing levied against Russia.

There is a significant body of evidence proving that Russia was involved in the 2014 Vrbětice explosion, therefore there is no ground to claim that the Vrbětice case was a planned disinformation campaign.

At a press conference on 17 April 2021, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček announced that members of the Russian military intelligence service GRU were involved in the explosion in Vrbětice in 2014, based on evidence and an investigation by the Czech security services, with investigators only learning of the Russian GRU's involvement four years after the explosion, following the revealed identity of agents involved in the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter in the UK. For example, the investigators mention an email sent to the Imex Group (operator of the munitions depot in Vrbětice), listing two agents suspected of poisoning Skripal in Salisbury, Chepiga and Mishkin.

In addition to the official investigation, the Russian involvement was also corroborated by an investigation undertaken by Bellingcat in cooperation with The Insider, Der Spiegel and Respekt.

See other similar cases here.


Related disinfo cases


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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