May 02, 2024

Czech-Sanctioned Pro-Russian Propagandist Granted Asylum in Slovakia

Slovakia has granted temporary asylum to Artem Marchevsky, a pro-Russian propagandist and former Ukrainian TV producer, Czech newspaper Denik N reported on April 30.

The decision to grant asylum was made by the Slovak Interior Ministry, according to Marchevsky’s lawyer, Leonid Kushnarenko.

Czechia previously denied asylum to the propagandist, imposing sanctions on him and freezing his assets in the country.

Czech authorities suspect Marchevsky, along with former Ukrainian MP Viktor Medvedchuk, of leading a Russian influence network behind the website Voice of Europe, known for disseminating pro-Russian propaganda.

Slovakia’s Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok declined to comment on the matter.

On March 29, a joint investigation by the German newspaper Spiegel and Denik N reported that German Bundestag member Petr Bystron had received funds from a “Russian influence network.”

The Voice of Europe regularly published calls from European politicians to cease support for Ukraine, and some authors of those calls were allegedly paid, as stated by Denik N.

On March 28, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said members of the European Parliament had received money from Moscow for spreading Russian propaganda. He elaborated on the “close cooperation” between Belgian and Czech special services in dismantling the Russian propaganda network.

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On March 27, Czech Foreign Ministry imposed sanctions on Medvedchuk. A press release from the ministry indicated Medvedchuk had managed a “Russian influence operation” through the Voice of Europe platform.

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