Disinfo: Prague committed a crime by removing the Konev monument


The inability of the Czech central authorities to prevent the regional bureaucrats from breaching the international commitments of the country is baffling. The crime committed in Prague may become a disruption of our bilateral relations and will not remain without a response.


The removal of the monument was picked on purpose – a month ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory. The new generation of Czechs has a different priorities, despite the fact that the monument to Marshal Konev was erected by their fathers and grandfathers. They are not rewriting our history, they are betraying their ancestors.


This is a recurring disinformation narrative about the statue of Marshall Konev in Prague, seeking to obfuscate the statue's legal status and the grounds for its removal. This disinformation message appeared in the same TV broadcast as the claim that the West in engaged in historical revisionism and attempts to cover up the horrors of genocide.

In the dispute over the statue, Russia has argued that under the Czech-Russian mutual agreement of 1993, Czechia is obliged to leave the statue in place on Prague's Interbrigade Square. However, this is an intentionally false and misleading interpretation of the terms of the agreement (full text available here). The monument is municipal property, belonging to city district Prague 6, and the 1993 agreement therefore does not apply to this case. The statue of Konev, erected in 1980, is not a military grave or memorial and therefore it was not protected by international treaties.

The democratically elected municipal council of Prague 6 voted for the removal of the statue. Using the protocol of the Politbureau's assembly, Czech historians established that on 8-14 May 1968 Konev chaired the Soviet military delegation sent to Prague to prepare the military invasion of Czechoslovakia. Konev was also chief of the Soviet troops in East Germany during the Berlin wall crisis in 1961. In other words, the Red Army brought not only liberation, but also terror to Czech Republic, as the mayor of Prague 6, Ondřej Kolář, reminded.

Kolář said that he respects the role of Konev-led forces in liberating Prague, and the sacrifice of Soviet armies liberating Europe from Nazism. "We will strive for an art competition for a memorial to the liberators of Prague at the end of World War Two instead of the marshal Konev statue," he said before the vote. "At the same time we will secure a dignified - and let me stress that, dignified - placement of this art piece (Konev) in a memorial institution. I think this is a consensual solution we have called for a number of years." The removal of the statue was planned for April 2020 in advance and is not due to coronavirus quarantine.

The monument to Marshall Konev was erected in 1980 during the "normalisation" period in communist Czechoslovakia. The leadership of Prague's Municipal District 6, which retains legal ownership of the statue, has voted to move the monument to a museum and replace it with a memorial commemorating Soviet sacrifices in the fight against Hitler in general, and the liberation of Prague in particular. More information available here.



  • Reported in: Issue 192
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Czech Republic
  • Keywords: Historical revisionism


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.

see more

The West forgot about the so called Russian threat and the Baltic states amid coronavirus

NATO proved its uselessness in fighting the coronavirus outbreak. Non-western countries seemingly counteract the epidemic much better then Western ones. Aligning efforts with Russia is necessary to save human lives and to prove that NATO’s existence makes sense. The coronavirus outbreak deprives the Baltic states of Western support. As Russia ceases to be NATO’s foe and this role is given to Islamic terrorism, coronavirus, etc. then rich Western countries do not have reasons to provide economic assistance to the Baltic states anymore. No “Russian threat” means the Baltic states do not exist for the West. Hence, due to the coronavirus outbreak the West forgot both about the so called Russian threat and the Baltic states.


This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western bodies and organisations' alleged lack of solidarity and the imminent collapse of the Western system.

One of the main pro-Kremlin narratives relating to the pandemic is that the EU and NATO are failing to cope with the COVID-19 crisis and, as a result, are disintegrating. In particular, this narrative of failure and lack of EU solidarity is trending after the delivery of Russian aid to Italy.

Coronavirus epidemic confirmed that the EU’s values are not the values of the Italian people

Italy was completely unprepared for the coronavirus crisis. The terrible consequences of constant cuts in the health budget made by Italy’s left-wing governments over the years became clear when the coronavirus epidemic exploded, and Italy urgently needed not only advanced medical equipment, such as ventilators, but also simpler products such as face masks or simply beds in hospitals.  It also became clear that the values of the Germany-dominated EU are not the values of the Italian people, and that the EU’s economic recipes have been lethal for Italy.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. See  a similar disinformation case claiming that the lack of solidarity against COVID-19 may cause the end of the EU.

EU countries are showing solidarity with the countries, most affected by the coronavirus pandemic by helping to treat the patients and protect health workers. Critically ill patients from Italy and France are treated in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg; millions of medical masks and other protective equipment have been sent to Italy. Read more here.

OPCW discredits whistleblowers to defend own Damascus-blaming narrative

Two former senior OPCW inspectors revealed that the watchdog had tried to cover up inconvenient evidence in the Douma investigation, which did not suit the mainstream Damascus-blaming story. Veteran inspector Ian Henderson and another former employee known as ‘Alex’ challenged the organization’s narrative which too strongly implied the government’s responsibility, but the OPCW has since tried to discredit them.

Henderson, who led the probe on the ground in Douma, had concluded that cylinders were likely manually placed on the ground, indicating the attack could have been staged by anti-government militias to frame the Syrian government — but his evidence was dismissed without explanation.


The story fits a broader set of conspiracy narratives attacking the independence and integrity of the OPCW; lending credence to the claim that the 2018 Douma attack was staged; and absolving the Syrian regime of responsibility for chemical attacks in general.

The OPCW did not "cover up" any evidence it had access to. A press statement by the organisation confirms that "all information was taken into account, deliberated, and weighed when formulating the final report regarding the incident in Douma." According to the OPCW's director-general, the organisation has been targeted by a disinformation campaign aiming specifically to "undermine the official reports of the Fact-Finding Mission about investigations in Syria."