View of the river, bridge and buildings in Prague, Czech Republic.

Local news used to disseminate pro-Russian messages.

The Pro-Russian Disinformation Campaign in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

January 2016, Number 07.SE
“Today, nobody questions the fact that Putin has waged an information propaganda war in our country”
Juraj Smatana

“Juraj Smatana, a Slovak political and anti-corruption activist, referring to a new phenomenon — a pro-Kremlin propaganda campaign in the Czech and Slovak languages spread by media. Although both countries have relatively small Russian minorities and only a handful of Russian language media outlets, the pro-Russia disinformation campaigns appear to be spreading.

In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, pro-Russian disinformation campaigns originate from multiple sources. Their pro-Kremlin messages are amplified through extensive social media activity, and the organization of public events and gatherings. These disinformation activities feature frequently used narratives and show high level similarity of arguments and messages.

The goal of the pro-Russian campaign is to shift public opinion against democratic institutions and depict a world in which the United States intends to exert global leadership, every Western-leaning politician is corrupt, media outlets not of their persuasion are biased, and the future is bleak, hopeless and full of conflict. In this world, Russia emerges as both the savior and moral authority, the guarantor of political stability and peace...”

Excerpt from Ivana Smoleňová, The Pro-Russian Disinformation Campaign in the Czech Republic and Slovakia,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues  7, Special Edition, 2016: 26-29.

Ivana Smoleňová is communications and outreach manager at the Prague Security Studies Institute, where she is responsible for public relations and alumni programs. Her academic focus is on the geopolitics of Russia and its use of soft power projection and hybrid warfare tactics in Eastern Europe, in particular pro-Russian disinformation and propaganda. She holds a master’s in corporate economics and development studies from the University of Economics in Prague.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.