DISINFO: Reports of Russia's role in Vrbetice explosion are ploy to influence upcoming German elections
The Czech Republic is under the tremendous influence of German big business. It cannot be ruled out that the allegations of Russia's involvement in the 2014 Vrbetice explosion are linked to the upcoming federal elections in Germany.
The election will likely be dominated by two candidates: Merkel's successor, regarded as pro-Russian; and the anti-Russian Green Party candidate. The recent diplomatic scandal could have been contrived as a means to tip the scale of German public opinion in the Green Party's favour.
The claim is part of an emerging pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative surrounding the 2014 fatal explosion at an ammo depot in Vrbetice, Czechia and the suspected role of Russia's GRU agency in the incident.
There is no evidence suggesting that the accusations against Russia are part of an international conspiracy to rig the elections in Germany, a country boasting one of the freest and most transparent electoral systems in the world.
On the other hand, we do have evidence which plausibly implicates two GRU operatives in the 2014 incident. The pair, who were also involved in the 2018 Skripal poisoning, travelled to the Czech Republic under false identities and infiltrated the Vrbetice site under false pretenses. The findings were announced by the Czech government and independently corroborated in the course of a joint investigation by Bellingcat, The Insider (Russia), Der Spiegel (Germany), and Respekt.cz (Czech Republic).
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 of multi-billion dollar tender; to discredit the Sputnik V vaccine; to divert international attention from an attempted Western "coup" in Belarus.