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


Opening remarks  

  1. How to Protect the Czech Economy from Foreign Predators and Malign Influence?
  2. Soviet Joke

Policy & Research  

  1. Kremlin stresses the need to protect its “red lines”
  2. Civil society repression continues in Russia

U.S. Developments  

  1. The U.S. 'not as advanced' as China, Russia on hypersonic tech, Space Force general warns
  2. The US blames Russia for space junk from satellite destroyed by weapons test

Kremlin’s Current Narrative 

  1. Kremlin criticizes US decision not to recognize Putin presidency 
  2. The Kremlin and its support of the Sputnik vaccine

Taipei News

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

Why there was no school in Soviet Russia? Because it was a classless society.

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Policy & Research

Kremlin stresses the need to protect its “red lines”

Amongst rising US-Russia tensions in the Black Sea region and on the Russia-Ukraine border, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has stated that the West is "artificially" raising tensions and crossing red lines (i.e. Russia’s annexation of Crimea) by suggesting that Moscow might invade Ukraine, whose military intelligence chief claimed on November 21 that Russia has amassed 92,000 troops near its borders and was readying an attack for early February.


Peskov called the Western response "artificially whipped up hysteria" and, in a textbook Kremlin use of "whataboutism", decried the fact that "we are being accused of some kind of unusual military activity on our territory [Crimea] by those who have brought in their armed forces from overseas [NATO Black Sea operations].”

Civil society repression continues in Russia

Russian journalist and human rights activist Viktoria Ivleva has been convicted for taking part in single-person protests to support one of the country's oldest human rights organizations, Memorial, which faces possible closure after decades of work detailing the history of Soviet repression. Ivleva was fined around 2,000 US dollars (around 150,000 rubles).

Ivleva was among at least seven other activists who were detained on Moscow’s Pushkin Square. Prosecutors allege that Memorial has violated conditions imposed on it after it was designated a “foreign agent” organization -- the Human Rights Center in 2014 and International Memorial in 2016 -- and that its statements contain “signs of justifying extremism and terrorism” – the move to close Memorial has been met with significant domestic and international criticism.

U.S. Developments

The U.S. 'not as advanced' as China, Russia on hypersonic tech, Space Force general warns

US Vice Chief of Space Operations General David Thompson admitted on Saturday that the US needs to quickly catch up to match China and Russia’s hypersonic capability. 


The top official’s remarks come as Russia launched its Tsirkon hypersonic missile from a warship in the Arctic last Thursday, hitting a target in the White Sea. Russian President Vladimir Putin has boasted that these weapons are “invincible.” 

Hypersonic missiles fly at least five times the speed of sound. However, their ability to glide on the atmosphere while changing direction at a high speech makes them almost impossible to track and destroy. 


According to the state media outlet Russia Gazette, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was forced to start developing hypersonic weapons when the United States withdrew from the ABM Treaty in 2002 and began developing strategic missile defence systems. 

The Pentagon has pushed the development of new hypersonic missiles. The US army is not slated to field its first missile until 2024. Meanwhile, the Navy is aiming to put its version on the first missile on destroyers and Virginia-class submarines in 2025 and 2028 respectively.

The US blames Russia for space junk from satellite destroyed by weapons test

The US has accused Russia of “dangerous and irresponsible behaviour” after it conducted an anti-satellite missile test last Monday, creating more than 1,500 pieces of space junk and threatening seven astronauts abroad the International Space Station (ISS) according to US officials. 


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said alongside jeopardizing astronauts’ lives, the test demonstrated that Russia was “weaponizing outer space.”

There was no comment from Russia about the missile strike, although earlier in the day, the Russian Space Agency tweeted that the astronauts were ordered into their docked capsules in case they needed to make a quick getaway. NASA confirmed that the seven astronauts spent two hours in the capsules out of precaution, and all robotic activity on the US side was put on hold due to clouds of debris. 


Anti-satellite missile tests were conducted by the US and India in 2008 and 2019 at lower altitudes, well below the space station at 420 kilometres. Monday’s anti-satellite test targeted the defunct Russian satellite Cosmos 1408 which was orbiting about 65 kilometres higher. 

Kremlin's Current Narrative

Kremlin criticizes US decision not to recognize Putin presidency

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced the US congress’ resolution that refuses to recognize Putin as president of Russia as long as he stays in power.

The resolution comes in the face of last year’s constitutional amendments that allow Putin to stay in power until 2036. The US Congress’s decision also cited widespread “fraudulent voting patterns from the most recent Russian election with reports of organized voter coercion, multiple voting, and ballot-stuffing.”


Peskov commented that the resolution is a perfect example of Washington’s so-called meddling in Russian affairs and that the decision negatively affects relations between both states. He also believes that Russians should be deciding Putin’s fate rather than American intervention through lawmaking. The Kremlin’s political strategy has tried to divert attention from Russia’s lack of democratic transparency and blame US decision-making for undermining Putin’s administration.

The Kremlin and its support of the Sputnik vaccine

On Monday, Dmitry Peskov stated that the Sputnik vaccine could be used for immunization and additional booster shots. Russia has been dealing with growing cases and is hoping to get more of the population vaccinated. He also noted that the vaccine had proven effectiveness in Russia and many other countries, noting its effectiveness over other foreign-made vaccines.


These comments also arrive with Vladimir Putin’s recent revaccination, which tried to promote the vaccine further. The Kremlin’s representatives have also denied stating which vaccine Putin received, stating all three were effective against Covid-19. Ultimately, the Kremlin uses a vaccine politics strategy to promote their Russian vaccine and undermine the West. 

Taipei News

Taiwan was officially invited to the planned “Summit for Democracy" by Joe Biden's administration. This virtual summit will take place the next month and it will be the first-of-its-kind gathering. This invitation is, according to experts, part of larger Biden' strategy of returning the U.S. to its position of global pivot against authoritarian powers, represented mainly by the regimes in Moscow and Beijing. Apart from Taiwan, there will be another 109 countries participating in the virtual summit on December 9 and 10. The main goal of the event is said to be to help stop the retreat of democracy and the erosion of rights globally while aiming to strengthen the standing of freedom worldwide. The list of invited parties omits China and Russia. During the summit, Taiwan will be represented by the de facto ambassador to the U.S.  Hsiao Bi-khim together with the minister for digitalization Audrey Tang.


Ten lawmakers from the Baltic countries will attend this year’s Open Parliament Forum in Taiwan. The event will take place in December. The fact that 10 participants in total will come from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania confirms the deepening of the relationship between Taiwan and the countries of this region, having the common experience of facing neighbouring authoritative power. The delegation will be led by Matas Maldeikis, leader of the Lithuanian parliament's Taiwan Friendship Group. The forum is organized by the National Democratic Institute based in Washington, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Taiwanese parliament (Legislative Yuan). At the same time, the visit comes during the increased tension between Lithuania and China regarding the Baltic state's recent decision to enable Taipei to open a de facto embassy in Vilnius. The forum is the last in a long string of official visits and delegations from Western countries and international organizations to Taiwan, showing the increasing support for Taipei and its democracy worldwide.

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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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