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Rospropaganda in the EU. Medvedchuk and money for the right

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The Kremlin has spent up to 1 million euros a month to strengthen the position of pro-Russian candidates in the European Parliament elections.

An entire Russian propaganda network has been uncovered in Europe. The pro-Russian Voice of Europe, launched in the Czech Republic in May 2023, has been used by the Kremlin to fund Russian propaganda through far-right politicians in five European countries. The Kremlin spends up to 1 million euros a month for this. After the EU and the Czech Republic began banning Voice of Europe, investigations into its influence spread to Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and France. It turns out that this is not just a pro-Russian site.

Money pad

“The site was used to transfer hundreds of thousands of euros to dozens of politicians in more than five countries to inject Kremlin propaganda into Western media that would sow division in Europe and strengthen the position of pro-Russian European candidate this week. Parliamentary elections,” wrote the Washington Post with reference to European intelligence officers.

Officials described the Russian operation as one of the Kremlin’s most ambitious in Europe in its bid to undermine support for Ukraine and widen divisions in the transatlantic alliance.

Internal Kremlin documents obtained by a European intelligence agency and reviewed by WP show for the first time that Voice of Europe was part of an influence campaign carried out by the Kremlin in close coordination with Viktor Medvedchuk.

The Voice of Europe has become a tool for the Kremlin to regain lost ground following the expulsion of Russian spies from Europe, a senior European official said.

Network of right-wing politicians

An investigation launched in the Czech Republic by the Voice of Europe led to raids on the home and offices of an aide to far-right Dutch Member of the European Parliament Petr Bistron, a leading member of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and a candidate for the European Parliament. Bystron actively opposes the shipment of Western weapons to Ukraine and for the lifting of sanctions on the Russian Federation. WP sources confirmed that Briston knew about plans for espionage operations. At the same time, the politician called these accusations a conspiracy to harm the AfD’s positions.

Germany also launched an investigation into Maximilian Krach for allegedly receiving payments from Russia and China for his work as an AfD Member of the European Parliament.

Help for Medvedchuk

Today, according to polls, far-right parties can win 25% of the seats in the European Parliament. This means increasing the influence of the Russian Federation, which will endanger aid to Ukraine and create “fertile ground for espionage,” the publication said.

Kremlin documents show that Voice of Europe was first linked to a Russian propaganda operation launched in January 2023. It was designed, in part, to boost support for Medvedchuk in Ukraine and position him among the leaders. of European opinion as a “viable replacement” for President Volodymyr Zelensky. Moscow wants to present Medvedchuk as the head of Ukraine’s government-in-exile, the documents show.

Work of the state fund

In addition, as The Guargian discovered, the Russian state legal defense fund Pravfond has spent millions of euros to finance propaganda in Europe. According to internal documents, the foundation financed propaganda sites aimed at Europeans. In addition, he helped pay for the defense of convicted arms dealer Viktor But and FSB officer Vadim Krasikov, who were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a Chechen field commander. The documents also noted that former Russian intelligence officers worked for the foundation, The Guardian wrote.

In addition, Pravfond’s local partners have received millions in government subsidies from European countries where the fund has branches, the newspaper reports.

Estonia’s security services, in their 2020 national security report, called Pravfond a “pseudo-system of legal protection” that is “a fund for influence operations.”

The documents also say that Pravfond spent hundreds of thousands of euros to support sites that allegedly fought Russophobia and promoted the protection of the Russian language in Europe. The foundation finances the activities of the online portal golos.eu, where Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and his entourage are mainly criticized, the material notes.

Source: korrespondent

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