In response to my last blog, Security Information Service (BIS) Intelligence Service of the Czech Republic, Annual report Of The Security Information Service For 2016, I received a response from a Czechian source who shall remain anonymous.
2.3 – “The Czech Republic was not a primary target of Russian hybrid campaign in 2016 (or before). It was, however, affected by influence operations or other measures, which constituted direct or indirect components of Russian hybrid campaign against other targets.”
I respectfully disagree – simple metrics of local press shows proliferation of Russian narrative in local media on a variety of topics. Activities of President Zeman and people closely linked to him cannot be completely ignored. Financing of the anti-migrant rallies also points toward Russia. The sheer volume and prominence of Russian version in local media, in the absence of any alternative, is a serious problem in itself. It is indeed a primary target, and the main measures are aimed at elected officials and their support teams.
- Concentration of political power, media ownership and business influence in the hands of a single individual, and documented use of state administration against business competition
- The report does not mention the increasing problem of unlawful intelligence collection by private entities with no legal grounds (Alibi Na Miru etc.)
- The report does not mention the proliferation of private security companies that are becoming a distinct problem due to no oversight and inadequate legal framework
- Abuse/illegal and reckless sharing of intelligence collected for national security/LE purposes for private purposes/business (case Necas-Nagyova, but also others that did not hit the press), facilitating victimization of private individuals to advance private/business interests of specific individuals
My source is beyond reproach. I have known this source for well over ten years and have worked personally and professionally with them. Their primary focus, with me, is professional, fair, objective, and unbiased observation of Russian attempts to influence the Czechian society, culture, language, and people.
Dear BIS, you have a problem. To self-certify that Russia is not influencing the Czech Republic is not only a denial of the truth, it is a bold lie. Your deceit has been noted.
In many ways, when the Soviet Union ceased to exist, the Soviet apparatchik simply removed their uniforms and continued working for their Russian masters. This situation, quite often, still continues.