Disinfo: Alleging that GRU was involved in 2014 Vrbětice explosion is a way of scaring people

Summary

The current approach of the Czech government and politicians following the announcement of GRU’s alleged role in the 2014 Vrbětice explosion is just like in the 1950s in Czechoslovakia.

If Donald Trump remained the President of the US, something like this would have probably not been announced. It is not that effective to use COVID-19 to scare people anymore and that is why the government seeks other possibilities – such as this one.

Disproof

The claim is part of an emerging pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative surrounding the 2014 fatal explosion at an amunition depot in Vrbetice, Czechia and the suspected role of Russia's GRU agency in the incident.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and the temporary Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Hamáček announced on 17 April 2021 that the Czech intelligence services collected evidence demonstrating Russia's 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 identified the intelligence officers, and demanded they leave the country over links to an explosion at a privately-operated arms depot in 2014.

Earlier pro-Kremlin coverage relating to the Vrbetice incident includes claims that it had been designed, among other things, to "curry favour" with the US; to force Moscow out of a multi-billion dollar tender; to discredit the Sputnik V vaccine; to divert international attention from an attempted Western "coup" in Belarus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 242
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/04/2021
  • Article language(s) Czech
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Czech Republic
  • Keywords: Vrbetice explosion, GRU
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Disinfo: Expulsion of Russian diplomats from Czechia is aimed at discrediting the Sputnik V and “Rosatom”

May the expulsion of the Russian diplomats [from Czechia] be connected to the construction of a new energy block at the Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant? The [Czech] opposition and secret services stand against the participation of the Russian company “Rosatom” in this tender. This situation is an attempt to kill two birds with one stone, discrediting both the supplier of the Sputnik V vaccine and the “Rosatom”. That is why the anti-Russian campaign is being revived in order to reach these goals. Such developments as the Skripal poisoning and the Malaysian Boeing have one thing in common – neither of them was investigated and the sanctions were introduced with the violation of all principles of the civilized world. Unfortunately, we have become a part of a barbaric world.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying the participation of the Russian special services in the Vrbetice ammunition explosion in Czechia.

The claim that the decision of the Czech authorities to expel the Russian diplomats in protest against the Russian involvement in the 2014 Vrbětice explosion is an alleged Czech attempt to “discredit the Sputnik V and the “Rosatom” is a manipulation.

Disinfo: Warsaw is using the Polish minority in Belarus to serve geopolitical games of Washington

Warsaw periodically is using Polish national minorities for the realisation of topical geopolitical tasks linked to Washington's instructions.

In his famous book “The Great Chessboard” one of the creators of Washington's foreign policy Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote about the potential of the use of ethnic conflict in the post-Soviet area for destabilisation of Russia's near abroad.

It explains why Warsaw is riding the wave against the country, which is participating in the Eurasian integration. It is Polish input into the new Cold War. Warsaw is ready to fight against Moscow till the last Pole in Belarus.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation against Poland portraying this state as vassal and puppet of the US.

Throughout March 2021, the authoritarian authorities of Belarus arrested a number of representatives of the Polish minority living in Belarus under various fake accusations (such as “rehabilitation of Nazism” and “incitement to national hatred”). The list of arrested persons includes the leader of the Belarusian Union of Poles Anzhelika Borys, a journalist Andrzej Poczobut and several teachers from local Polish schools. Some of the arrested activists may be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison. Read more about the situation around arrested representatives of the Polish minority living in Belarus here.

Disinfo: Eastern Europe is used by Anglo-Saxons to isolate Russia

The so-called "New Europe", is the conglomerate of countries of Eastern Europe, which is nothing but a fief of the United States of America, and an American Trojan horse inside the European Union, and that "Europe" specifically is what the Anglo-Saxons use to isolate Russia.

Disproof

This is a mix of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about lost sovereignty/external control, Western Russophobia and anti-Russian activities, and about the US presence in Europe.

Pro-Kremlin media often use the term “Anglo-Saxons” to portray the West as “evil”, “belligerent” and “morally corrupt” and to reinforce the idea that Russia belongs to a different civilization, as explained in our earlier analysis.