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Big Brother in Times of Plague

Big Brother in Times of Plague

To effectively fight the coronavirus pandemic, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland are introducing various smartphone apps that promise to increase the safety of citizens and eventually loosen lockdown measures. But in practice, enforcing this kind of digital leash raises many privacy and data security concerns. A project that purports to be a “way to quickly...

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The Nuclear Influence. How Russia Acts on the Central European Energy Market

The Nuclear Influence. How Russia Acts on the Central European Energy Market

30 years later after the fall of communism, Central Europe’s industries are connected to the West in innumerable ways. But signs that its nuclear industry continues to be heavily influenced by Russian interests are everywhere. In the Czech Republic, the most prominent nuclear engineering company is owned by a Russian energy giant. In Slovakia, Russian-led...

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The Chef’s Global Footprints

The Chef’s Global Footprints

The US government recently went after some of Prigozhin’s assets, but there’s more.  The shadowy interests of Yevgeny Prigozhin — a Russian businessman and close associate of President Vladimir Putin — have just become a little clearer. Over the past year, reporters from OCCRP’s Russian partner, Novaya Gazeta, tracked the registration details and movements of...

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Czech Weapons in Azerbaijan: How a Chassis Turned into a Howitzer

Czech Weapons in Azerbaijan: How a Chassis Turned into a Howitzer

Two years ago, when the Azerbaijani army showed off their Czech Dana howitzers and Vampire rocket launchers in a promotional video, it attracted extraordinary media attention: the Czech Republic does not officially export military equipment to this country. The arms branch of the Czechoslovak Group immediately rushed to make an official statement that, in accordance...

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Budapest – Welcoming Gateway to Europe for Russian Bank

Budapest – Welcoming Gateway to Europe for Russian Bank

The management board of the Russian-led International Investment Bank (IIB) held its first meeting in its new headquarters, Budapest, this week. The move of IIB from Moscow to Budapest has been controversial since it was announced: experts, historians and the media have been worried that the bank would be a tool for the Kremlin to plant spies...

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Eastern Kinderguardians

Eastern Kinderguardians

Children marching in raincoats with gas masks over their faces. It is a memory that comes to the minds of people who went to school in the Czech Republic before 1989. After the Soviet Union break-up, the picture of national defence education disappeared from the life of schools, just as compulsory Russian classes. The memory...