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Disinformation operations in the Czech Republic

The European Values Think-Tank presents a representative survey among residents of the Czech Republic conducted by the STEM agency. The level of trust towards disinformation spread by alternative media was tested. Based on this data, Disinformation Index was created. The project was done together with Slovak Atlantic Commission within framework of “GLOBSEC Trends”.

Download the full report zde.

Main findings:

A quarter of Czechs believe disinformation and disinformation projects. These people perceive threats differently, often see Russia as an ally and question or deny the geopolitical alignment of the Czech Republic to the West.

  • 25.5% of Czechs believe disinformation
  • 24.5% believe the alternative (disinformation, pro-Kremlin) media more than traditional

 

Despite limited US involvement in Syria, half of Czechs believe that the USA are responsible for Syrian refugees coming to Europe. Creating this impression is the obvious aim of the pro-Kremlin disinformation operations.

  • 50.2 % of the public thinks that the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees coming to Europe are the responsibility of the United States
  • 28.3% of Czechs think that the Russian military intervention in Syria helps to solve the Europe’s migration crisis

 

Manipulation of the public is successful in the case of disinformation about what is happening in Ukraine. Nearly four out of ten Czechs blame the USA for the Ukrainian crisis, although there are Russian troops occupying part of the territory of Ukraine.

  • 38% of respondents think that the Ukrainian crisis was caused by US and NATO
  • 30.6% of respondents believe that the fascist forces have a crucial influence on the Ukrainian government

 

Only a fifth of the Czech population believe the Kremlin lie of that the organized Russian forces are not operating in Ukraine. Czech President Miloš Zeman still claims so.

  • 19.6% think that organized Russian forces do not operate in Ukraine.

 

Roughly half the population wants the Czech Republic to be in position “between East and West.” Four out of ten Czechs would prefer neutrality to the membership in NATO.

  • 48.3% chose a position between East and West.
  • When the respondents were asked whether membership in NATO is good or bad, only 17.3% chose the second option. But as soon as the word neutrality appeared strong 39.4% responded that neutrality would be better option than NATO. We expect the use of this narrative by disinformation operations, in Slovakia it is already being used massively.

 

Only less than one-third of Czechs consider EU membership a good thing. Four out of ten are undecided whether the EU is a good or bad thing, which means that in the case of a referendum on EU membership, we can expect that these people would decide only based on the experience during the campaign. The campaign can be strongly influenced by disinformation operations. Efforts to promote a referendum on leaving the EU come from the far right, far left, and the President of the Czech Republic.

  • Only 31.5% of respondents considered EU membership a good thing.
  • If there was a referendum on the withdrawal of the Czech Republic from the EU, 40.6% of people would most likely decide only on the basis of an ongoing campaign before the referendum as they opted for the “don’t know” option in the questionnaire.

 

Membership in NATO has strong support, building of alliance infrastructure in the country is now rejected, however, four out of ten Czechs would have supported it.

  • 55.6% of the public does not agree with allowing NATO to build its infrastructure in the country, 39.1% agree.

• 68.5% of respondents agree that NATO is important for the security of our country.

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