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Russian propaganda in Czechia, Slovakia, and Bulgaria


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Russian propaganda in Czechia, Slovakia, and Bulgaria

Like mold, russian propaganda penetrates wherever it is not wanted but where it wants to be. And Europe is like a wishful oasis for an unwanted guest. The most popular propaganda conduits are Sputnik and Russia Today TV channels and many public chats across social media. We have already looked into how prevalent and rooted propaganda is in Hungary, Romania, Moldova, and Serbia. Today we will explore russian propaganda in Czechia, Slovakia, and Bulgaria.


Russian propaganda is prevalent in the Czech information space. But the people in Czechia know how to counter that “mold”. An initiative group known as Czech Elves has undertaken the task of protecting the media space. Lately, the Elves have had to debunk many messages accusing displaced Ukrainians of being impudent and unmannered.

Such messages seek to evoke Czech aggression against Ukrainians. In fact, russia is pressing a sore spot. However, according to a STEM study dated 25 April 2022, Czech citizens, 64% of respondents specifically, view the acceptance of refugees from Ukraine favorably. 

It became possible because, after 24 February, Czechs promptly stopped visiting propaganda web resources. But the problem of propaganda remains only partially solved. Numerous propaganda public chats continue functioning, and they are difficult to control. Other European countries experience similar difficulties with managing the flow of information in social media. 


In early February 2022, over 44% of surveyed Slovaks faulted the U.S. and NATO for the tense situation in the east of Ukraine. Mykhailo Drapak argues that Slovakia is very vulnerable to russian propaganda. How so?

Slovaks tend to fall for the theme of the “terrible and weak West” because of the lingering influence of the policy of Igor Matovic, ex-prime minister who had close ties with the Kremlin, on the public.

Thanks to the pro-European outlook of the current government, most Slovaks (47%) say that Ukraine must defeat russia in the war. Those figures come from a recent poll by the GLOBSEC Slovak research center.

In response to such a stance, russian propaganda circulates messages about the negative influence acceptance of Ukrainian refugees supposedly has on the country’s development level. Hence, there is still a lot to be done about the problem of russian propaganda.


As part of the war against Ukraine, russia has been spending 2,000 Euro worth of palm greasing per month on Bulgarian public figures, journalists, and politicians. In exchange, they spread russian propaganda. Bulgarian special services recently confirmed this information. At the onset of the war, the number of publications containing russian propaganda messages increased ten-fold, reaching 397 daily posts.

Such publications contain fakes about “AFU crimes”, which Bulgarians take at face value. Since childhood, Bulgarians are taught history in such a way as to accentuate that russians are their friends with whom they share many similarities, including Orthodox faith, Slavic origin, and political interests. But following 24 February, the Bulgarian attitude towards russia has grown more neutral; according to an October poll by the ESTAT research center, 48.1% of Bulgarians support neither side in the war.

Moreover, Slovakia and Bulgaria share the highest level of support for conspiracy theories. It implies low levels of media literacy and high susceptibility to russian propaganda. This information is based on the research published by the GLOBSEC Slovak research center in May 2022.

That is why the Filter team advises you to exercise caution when consuming information from media outlets and social media of these countries. We must master patience and, where possible, correctly and reasonably explain the influence of russian propaganda to the locals.


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