DISINFO: Allegations of Russian role in Vrbetice explosion part of Russophobic smear campaign
  • Outlet: cz.sputniknews.com (archived)*
  • Date of publication: April 21, 2021
  • Article language(s): Czech
  • Reported in: Issue 240
  • Countries / regions discussed: Czech Republic, Russia
Skripal MH17 Sergei Skripal Secret services GRU Russophobia Anti-Russian Diplomacy with Russia Vrbetice explosion

DISINFO: Allegations of Russian role in Vrbetice explosion part of Russophobic smear campaign


Allegations of Russian involvement in the 2014 Vrbetice explosion are an attempt to kill two birds with one stone. First, to discredit the Sputnik V vaccine; second, to force Russia out of the tender for the renovation of the Dukovany NPP.

The present accusations against Moscow shares some similarities with previous anti-Russian campaigns, namely the alleged Skripal poisoning and the MH17 crash: neither was properly investigated, but both were used as a pretext to impose sanctions on Russia.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative dismissing any allegations of Moscow's malign activity abroad as "Russophobic."

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and Interior Minister Jan Hamacek announced on Saturday 17 April 2021 that the Czech intelligence services collected evidence demonstrating Russian involvement in the 2014 Vrbětice explosion. More specifically, it implicates Unit 29155, a division of Russia's GRU agency previously linked to "assassination attempts and other subversive actions across Europe." Prague's findings were independently corroborated in the course of an investigation jointly conducted by Bellingcat, The Insider (Russia), Der Spiegel (Germany), and Respekt.cz (Czech Republic).

The involvement of Russian state actors in the MH17 crash and the Skripal poisoning has been established beyond reasonable doubt. See e.g. here and here for our debunking of these claims.

Pro-Kremlin coverage of the Vrbetice incident resembles Moscow's standard approach to damage control in the face of incriminating evidence: knee-jerk denial of wrongdoing, attribution of the charges to Western Russophobia, and mass production of "alternative explanations." This template has been applied in the coverage of the MH17 crash, the Skripal poisoning, and the Navalny poisoning.


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.

    Your opinion matters!

    Data Protection Information *

      Subscribe to the Disinfo Review

      Your weekly update on pro-Kremlin disinformation

      Data Protection Information *

      The Disinformation Review is sent through Mailchimp.com. See Mailchimp’s privacy policy and find out more on how EEAS protects your personal data.