Russian military television grossly exaggerates Czech turnout for anti-EU demonstration
The Russian military television channel "Zvezda"("Star") exploited an opportunity to turn its coverage of the demonstration convened by the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) movement on Prague's Wenceslas Square on 25 April into disinformation. The channel alleged to its viewers that "25 000" adherents of anti-EU, fascisizing parties turned out for the protest.
According to estimates by reporters for news server Romea.cz there were a maximum of between 2 000 - 3 000 supporters of the SPD in attendance. Other media outlets are even reporting that just several hundred people turning out for them.
There were about 300 counter-protesters. The T-mobile service announced that in the early evening that day on Wenceslas Square there were twice as many active users of its network as usual.
The Czech Center against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats (Centrum proti terorismu a hybridním hrozbám - CTHH) tweeted that according to the police, roughly 600 people were in attendance. The CTTH, which is part of the Czech Interior Ministry, recalled in its tweet another untrue article that grossly exaggerated the number of persons attending a different demonstration in Prague in 2017, when Sputnik falsely reported that "100 000" people assembled near the statue of [Soviet] Marshal Konev even though the reality was exponentially different, with about 100 people gathering at that memorial.
Česko očima Kremlu. „V Praze vyšlo protestovat proti EU 25 tisíc lidí,“ tvrdí TV kanál ruského ministerstva obrany. Slabota. U sochy mar. Koněva se v roce 2017 sešlo „přes 100 tisíc obyvatel“, tvrdil tehdy Sputnik (odnož ruské státní zpravodajské agentury Russia Today). #dezinfo pic.twitter.com/u0zFXl4w7u— CTHH MV (@CTHH_MV) April 26, 2019
Czechia through the eyes of the Kremlin. “In Prague, 25,000 people came out to protest against the EU,” claims Russian Defence Ministry’s TV channel. Peanuts. In 2017, state-owned Sputnik claimed that “more than 100,000” rallied at Prague’s statue of marshal Konev. #disinfo pic.twitter.com/rEpC8Rs0ep— CTHH MV (@CTHH_MV) April 26, 2019
News server Seznam also reported that Russian state media are generally spreading disinformation about the European Union collapsing. Experts categorize the media outlets Aeronet, Sputnik, Parlamentní listy and several others as disinformation, pro-Putin servers contributing to disseminating anti-democractic Russian propaganda and spreading chaos in democratic countries, the Czech Republic included.
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