Slovakia Undergoes Russian Influence

Systemic Narratives that Seek to Undermine the Country’s Choices

15 December 2020

Since 2014, a fairly developed ecosystem of local agents of Russian information and propaganda influence, using their native language, has emerged and exists in relatively comfortable conditions in Slovakia. These agents are the main distributors of locally produced Russian propaganda and feed systemic narratives into Slovak society.

The Russian information war against Ukraine was unleashed by Russia much earlier than the Kremlin sent its troops there and began supporting its armed agents to prevent democratic reforms in Ukraine and its advance towards a democratic Europe.

Today, Russian propaganda is directly involved in supporting the criminal actions of the Belarusian dictatorial regime with the goal of having it survive in the face of total opposition from Belarusian society. At one time – at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries – Slovakia, a small Central European state, also faced attempts by Russian propagandists to prevent it from moving forward towards Euro-Atlantic integration.

Fortunately for Slovakia, as well as for other Central European states, the authoritarian regime in Russia was not so consolidated at that time. The military and economic potential of Russia was not so strong that it could achieve the slightest tangible results in this area. All Central European states, including Slovakia, eventually joined both the EU and NATO.

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Grigorij Mesežnikov

Grigorij Mesežnikov is a political scientist and the President of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) in Slovakia. He has published expert studies on party systems’ development and political aspects of transformation in post-communist societies, illiberal and authoritarian tendencies, populism, nationalism and hybrid threats in various monographs, collections and scholarly journals in Slovakia and other countries.

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