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Commentary on the first round of Czech presidential elections

“Incumbent Czech President Miloš Zeman, who acts as a trojan horse for the Kremlin, will grapple with pro-Atlantic Professor Jiří Drahoš in the second round. Given his widespread support and popular standing, as well as his multiple endorsements from other candidates, Professor Drahoš has a strong chance at winning.

The deciding factor is expected to be the intensive disinformation campaign directed against Professor Drahoš in the last two weeks prior to the second round. We’ve already seen a growing number of attacks related to migration and his personal affairs, which is likely to intensify.

Direct Russian support for the campaign of President Zeman has already begun. The headquarters of Lukoil in Moscow has paid off the personal debt of Mr. Martin Nejedlý in October 2016, chief advisor and de facto campaign manager of President Zeman. It becomes clear that the Kremlin has bought the key advisor behind the Czech President, who is now running for re-election.”

Summary of the Kremlin influence in the Czech Republic is available here.