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Czech warning of Russian propaganda deemed unserious

April 3rd, 2024

A pro-government columnist doesn’t deny that many small websites throughout Europe reverberate Russian propaganda – but deems their impact negligible.

Last week, the Czech government sanctioned a news site called Voice of Europe, which Prague said was part of a pro-Russian influence operation. The Czech intelligence service warned that Russian propaganda is thriving on a network of websites and the social media. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that Russia had approached members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and ’paid them, to promote Russian propaganda’.

On the Mandiner website, Mátyás Kohán dismisses the claim that right-wing MEPs that made statements to the Voice of Europe website accepted money for being interviewed as ridiculous. He also argues that banning outlets is ’typical Putinist procedure’. Nor is it effective, he adds. There are scores of such insignificant websites which have extremely low influence in Europe. Not that Russian propaganda is inefficient in itself, he continues. However, he explains, rather than right-wing MEPs, it is promoted by the stern reality along the frontline in Ukraine. As Kohán sees it, people in their right mind know that Ukraine’s former borders cannot be restored. Russian propaganda would immediately become ineffective, he concludes, if only Europe’s leaders started talking in realistic terms about Ukraine.

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