Russian intelligence services are conducting "an information war" in the Czech Republic, warns the Central European country's counterintelligence agency, the BIS.
“A large number" of Russian intelligence officers were working undercover in 2015 as part of the Russian Embassy in Prague, which was by far the largest foreign mission in the country, the BIS said in its annual report on September 1.
It warned that Russian agents were building a network of puppet groups and are supporting populist and extremist groups that could be used to "destabilize or manipulate Czech society or the political environment at any time."
The agents were focusing on spreading false information about conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, as well as trying to undermine the unity of the European Union and NATO through an extensive online misinformation campaign, the report added.
There have been "attempts to disrupt Czech-Polish relations, disinformation and alarming rumors defaming the U.S. and NATO, disinformation creating a virtual threat of a war with Russia," the BIS said.
Russian agents were also working to damage the reputation of Ukraine and isolate the country internationally, it added.
The report said Chinese intelligence services have also stepped up their activities in the Czech Republic, deepening their infiltration of political and business circles.
Based on reporting by Bloomberg and Reuters