The war between Russian and Czechian spies has led to Russia losing billions of euros in nuclear contracts.
Following a seven-year investigation, Czechia has blamed Russian spies for two explosions at a munitions factory that killed two people in 2014.
Czech authorities have linked the explosions to the GRU, Russia’s intelligence agency. At the time of the incidents, the ammunition being produced at the factory was thought to be destined for Russia’s rivals in Ukraine.
The two men linked to the explosions have been identified as the same two accused of conducting the Salisbury poisoning. They reportedly both entered the Czech Republic under one set of passports.
The ammunition at the factory was owned by a Bulgarian arms dealer, who was later poisoned by the same nerve agent used in Salisbury.
In the wake of these revelations, Czechia has started expelling Russian intelligence officers from its capital city, Prague. In response, Russia announced that it was expelling Czech diplomats from Moscow yesterday, April 19.
A central European intelligence official told Insider that officers’ removal from Prague will be a huge blow for Russia. They said, ‘Prague is a key station for [Russian intelligence] because it’s got a semi-friendly government and its central location inside the European Union makes it an excellent logistical hub for operations.’
The source continued:
The 18 ‘diplomats’ that were kicked out of Czech are well-known intelligence officials from [various Russian services] and were not just involved in operations targeting Czech but also targeting much of Europe. For operational purposes, I’m not sure there’s a more important EU station for the Russians outside of Berlin.
Losing this many intelligence officers will reduce the amount of activity and capabilities of the Russians for now.
That’s not all the Czech government has done, however; it has also barred a Russian company from bidding for contracts to maintain the Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant, something that could see the country losing billions of euros.
Insider’s European intelligence source explained, ‘Putin will now see the losses of billions in contracts from the nuclear sector. That project was critical not just for the income to Russia but for the influence over local affairs the contract would give.’
A NATO military intelligence official added ‘this is real punishment for the Russians’ in regards to the loss of the contracts, but that they ‘remain sceptical’ that this will affect Moscow’s behaviour.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]