Disinfo: Czechia targets Russia in Vrbetice case to distract attention from incompetence


Czech authorities are not only incapable of conducting objective investigations but they are also incapable of adding a kind of logical chain to the ongoing mess in their country. The best Prague could have come up with was to put the entire blame on Russia, the notorious "enemy".


The case above is part of a wider disinformation campaign about the events around the Vrbětice explosion in 2014 and the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the Czech Republic in April 2021 after the involvement of Russian state actors was established by Czech authorities.

The disinformation narrative also fits into the recurring claims of Russophobia, that is, the standard response by pro-Kremlin media outlets when Western countries raise a politically conflictual issue.

Accordingly, the pro-Kremlin campaign follows a similar pattern to others launched after notorious incidents, such as the downing of the MH17 flight or the poisonings of Sergei Skripal and Alexei Navalny, including official denials despite compelling evidence, spreading of multiple and often contradictory versions and speculation about sinister motives or conspiracies behind the accusations. Through these campaigns, the disinformation narratives aim to deflect any Russian responsibility for the incident and exempt Russia from any wrongdoing.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Hamáček announced on 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 identified the intelligence officers and demanded they leave the country over links to an explosion at a privately operated arms depot in 2014. Prague's findings were independently corroborated by a joint investigation conducted by Bellingcat, The Insider (Russia), Der Spiegel (Germany), and Respekt.cz (Czechia).

Pro-Kremlin media actors have built an extensive disinformation campaign around the Vrbetice explosions and the subsequent revelations of Kremlin involvement. Explore earlier cases on the subject here.


  • Reported in: Issue 245
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/05/2021
  • Article language(s) Hungarian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Czech Republic, Russia
  • Keywords: Vrbetice explosion
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Disinfo: The New York Times reveals an operation against the "Deep State"

The founder of Blackwater recruited a former MI6 spy to execute the operation “Honeymoon” to eradicate the enemies of Donald Trump, The New York Times reported. According to the report, Trump’s allies were prepared to make an additional effort to focus on representatives of the “Deep State” inside the government who apparently worked to undermine the then-president.


This disinformation piece is a deliberate distortion of the original article by The New York Times, which described a campaign by conservative activists “to discredit perceived enemies of President Trump inside the government”, including “a planned sting operation against Mr. Trump’s national security adviser at the time, H.R. McMaster, and secret surveillance operations against F.B.I. employees, aimed at exposing anti-Trump sentiment in the bureau’s ranks”.

The NYT article makes no mention of the so-called “deep state” nor affirms that these targets “apparently worked to undermine the then-president”. These distortions are intended to promote a well-established pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about global elites secretly ruling the world, and specifically a so-called ‘Deep State’ in the United States. This narrative aims to question the legitimacy of democracy and Western institutions.

Disinfo: Guaidó sees sanctions and accusations only as tools to pressure Maduro

The a recent video in which Venezuela’s Juan Guaidó offers to promote a national salvation agreement, including the government of Nicolás Maduro, starts with an apparently conciliatory tone, though there is not much love throughout the rest of it. As, for example, when he demands that Caracas comply with his demands, because otherwise sanctions and accusations of drug trafficking and crimes against humanity will continue raining on the country, which means that he rather believes in those accusations as mere tools for pressure than in the accusations themselves.


The claim is a deliberate distortion of Juan Guaidó’s original video, which proposes a national salvation agreement based in several points.

In the fourth point, Guaidó calls for “the commitment of international community to achieve this recovery and offer incentives to the [Maduro’s] regime, including the progressive lifting of sanctions, of course conditioned to the compliance of those essential goals of the agreement”. Immediately, he adds that the negotiation process must include “guarantees for all actors, but essentially, accountability mechanisms for the regime if it tries to eschew again a negotiated solution”.

Disinfo: An illegal seizure of power took place in the US

Following France, there comes the US, some of the US military personnel write open declarations that the country has reached a dangerous point.

What is special about the “Letter of 124” is not only that it expresses doubts, obvious to everyone, about the mental usefulness of the President Joe Biden, not even that it almost directly states that an illegal seizure of power took place in the country [US], with falsification of the election results. The main thing is that the military believes that the coup continues, all the tireless activity of the Democrats “destroys the country”, that is, the democracy, that is, the US itself as such.

A creeping globalist coup throughout the West is simply destroying societies by any means, and then it suddenly turns out that a "man with a gun" can oppose this destruction too.


The claim echoes an open letter signed by a group of 124 retired military officers in the US that has basically amounted to a partisan attack on the Democratic Party and US President Joe Biden, while repeating some of the same false claims about the 2020 presidential elections in the US.

The open letter from a group calling itself Flag Officers 4 America advanced the false conspiracy theory that the presidential vote was rigged in Biden's favour and warned that the nation is "in deep peril" from "a full-blown assault on our Constitutional rights."