Last week's events concerning the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign


  1. Opening remarks
    1. EVC Talk!
    2. How to Protect the Czech Economy from Foreign Predators and Malign Influence?
    3. Soviet Joke
  2. Policy & Research
    1. Russian diplomat found dead in Berlin was an FSB officer
    2. Russian military buildup near Ukraine poses concerns for the US, Europe
  3. U.S. Developments
    1. CIA's visit to Moscow
    2. U.S. criticism of China's and Russia's climate change policy
  4. Kremlin’s Current Narrative
    1. Military exercises highlight Kremlin’s geopolitical concerns
    2. Ukraine and Romania call for an increase in the US military presence in the Black Sea
  5. Taipei News

Reminder of Today's EVC Talk!

Dear readers,

On behalf of the European Values Center for Security Policy and, let me invite you for the online public roundtable "The role of media in disinformation campaigns - Is there a way, how to regulate them?" The event is going to take place ONLINE on Thursday, November 11, at 4 PM (CET)/5 pm (EST, Kyiv time). Follow the discussion on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter 

We will discuss views from the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and also comments from member of the European Parliament.

The moderator will be Veronika Vichova, European Values Center for Security Policy, Czech Republic

Our speakers are:

Viktoras Daukšas, Head of initiative, Lithuania

Markéta Gregorová, Member of European Parliament, Czech Pirate Party

Monika Richter, media expert, Semantic Visions, Czech Republic

Oksana Romaniuk, Chief executive of The Institute of Mass Information (IMI), Ukraine

Katsiaryna Shmatsina, independent political analyst, Belarus

How to Protect the Czech Economy from Foreign Predators and Malign Influence?

In this paper, the European Values Center for Security Policy (EVC) identifies the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) key objectives and tools of economic influence and formulates a comprehensive set of potential countermeasures that can and should be adopted by the Czech Republic or be advocated for by the Czech Republic in the European Union. These measures stand to help protect businesses, research & development, and strategic technologies. The report could serve as a source of policy inspiration for any other democratic state, primarily within the EU. The PRC’s tools of economic influence and possible countermeasures presented in this paper were identified and formulated by the EVC primarily based on the findings of the interviews with 30 Czech and international stakeholders with expertise in business development, China’s foreign policy, and national security.

Good Old Soviet Joke

In school, work determines your marks. In Soviet Russia, Marx determines your work!


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Policy & Research

Russian diplomat found dead in Berlin was an FSB officer

A Russian diplomat, who was found dead near the Russian embassy in Berlin last month, was an undercover FSB agent German media confirmed last Friday. According to the German media outlet, Der Spiegel police discovered the body of a Russian diplomat who apparently fell from an embassy window on October 19. The death had not been previously reported on as the German security sources were unclear about his cause of death, and the Russian embassy had not authorized an autopsy. The Russian embassy has not commented on the death of any staff member. The German foreign ministry has confirmed the death of the Russian diplomat but cannot give more information. 


Citing leaked databases, the investigative news outlet Bellingcat identified the intelligence agencies as the son of the deputy director of the FSB's Second Service. The FSB's Second Service has been accused of plotting overseas assassinations, including the 2019 murder of Chechen rebel commander Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian citizen killed in Berlin. Another target of the Second Service was Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was poisoned in 2020. Russia has denied its involvement in both attacks. 

Russian military buildup near Ukraine poses concerns for the US, Europe

The Ukrainian defence ministry reported on Wednesday that Russia has kept tens of thousands of troops close to the Ukrainian border, with the number of troops in the area totalling 90,000. The ministry said that the Russian armed forces held a series of large-scale drills in the region and afterwards, left units of the 41st Army behind, about 260 kilometres from the Ukrainian border. 


The Washington Post reported that the buildup was raising concerns among officials in the US and Europe, who are tracking Russian movements on its western flank. Ukraine has earlier denied media reports that Russia was again massing troops near their border. US-based outlet Politico said last Monday that commercial satellite photos “confirmed” reports of Russia’s buildup. Russian still maintains that it has not massed military units near Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly accused NATO of carrying out provocations close its border. NATO said it was determined to reinforce the security of member states close to Russia. It suspended its diplomatic mission to NATO last month in response to the expulsion of eight Russian officials. 

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U.S. Developments

CIA's visit to Moscow

The CIA's director William Burns visited Moscow to discuss U.S.-Russia relations. The news of the visit came as a bit of a surprise, given Russia's tense political relationship with the United States and the recent lack of progress in diplomatic ties. Burn's visit coincided with recent developments of cybersecurity tensions in both countries. "U.S. officials familiar with intelligence activities and a Russian cybersecurity source confirmed that hacking was one of the topics raised by Burns." "Last Wednesday, Burn also met with Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service chief Sergei Naryshkin, discussing the prospects of U.S. Russia cooperation in fighting international terrorism." Although there was progress between both states, nothing was discussed concerning the recent Russian military troop buildup near Ukraine.

U.S. criticism of China's and Russia's climate change policy

The U.S.'s climate envoy John Kerry insisted that he effectively dialogue with officials from China and Russia on climate policies at the U.N. summit. The statement contrasts with Vladimir Putin's absence from the first round of talks in Glasgow, after previously stating that Russia will uphold the internationally agreed-upon carbon emission regulations. However, most of these promises are coming in the form of words rather than practical actions. "Former U.S. President Barack Obama spoke during the summit, singled out Russia and China for their lack of presence showing a lack of urgency in responding to serious climate issues." Both Russia and China have been criticized for their slow progress on their climate change goals, given that both countries are of the world's largest emitters of pollution. 

Kremlin's Current Narrative

Military exercises highlight Kremlin’s geopolitical concerns

A recent RT article reports that on November 8, a joint exercise of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) "Indestructible Brotherhood - 2021" started in Kazan. RT reports that the training is being attended by military contingents from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. More than posing a counter-narrative against criticisms of Russia as RT often does, this article is more of a demonstration of the Kremlin’s intentions and concerns regarding terrorism, which are especially pertinent after the recent takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban. As one expert quoted in the article notes, “the nature of the upcoming Unbreakable Brotherhood - 2021 exercise suggests that the organisation [CSTO] is preparing in the event of any emergency situation to quickly neutralize any potential threat.”

Ukraine and Romania call for an increase in the US military presence in the Black Sea

Another RT article reports on Romania and Ukraine's support for US presence in the Black Sea, whose ambassadors have argued that Western countries should increase their military presence in the Black Sea region to strengthen their positions and more effectively contain Russia. The article argues that “experts note that Kyiv and Bucharest are demonstrating their loyalty to Washington and its policy of containing Moscow.” As noted above, Russia’s Defense Minister calls it a "provocation of its strategic waters”. Additionally, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov stated that these US actions “undermine stability”. This article shows the Kremlin media pushback against NATO solidarity.

News From Taipei

delegation of members of the European Parliament visited Taiwan last week, thus confirming the deepening of Brussels-Taipei relations that has been taking place in past months. The visit aimed to study Taiwanese experiences in addressing interference and manipulation campaigns. The group of seven MEPs was led by the French lawmaker Glucksmann and they were sent as a formal delegation of the European Parliament’s special committee on foreign interference and disinformation (INGE)At the same time, this event represents the very first official visit of the European Parliament to the island country.
In order to discuss an innovative system that Taiwan uses to fight disinformation campaigns and other types of hybrid attacks, the delegation met with several officials and representatives of civil society, including the president of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen. The visiting MEPs called Taiwan a “key partner and democratic ally and a great lessons-giver for democratic countries who face similar influence and interference operations by authoritarian regimesThe delegation follows Foreign Minister Joseph Wu’s recent visits to Europe, and the European Parliament’s approval of the Taiwan-EU Political Relations and Cooperation report. The Head of the delegation, Glucksmann, stated that Taiwan is not alone. He added that Europe will cooperate with the country while safeguarding the shared values of democracy, freedom, and rule of law.


The U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken made a public statement this week regarding the tensions in Taiwan Straits. Blinken said that allied nations would be ready to take action in the scenario of China using its armed forces against Taipei. These comments follow president Biden’s statements of past months about the willingness of the U.S. to defend Taiwan, and such statements went radically beyond the previous American approach focusing just on Taiwan’s ability to protect itself.  

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Kremlin Watch is a strategic program of the European Values Center for Security Policy, which aims to expose and confront instruments of Russian influence and disinformation operations focused against the liberal-democratic system.

For comments. suggestions or media inquiries, please contact the Head of the Kremlin Watch Program Veronika Víchová at 

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