In the Czech Republic, a priest was detained among those involved in the battles in the Donbas against Ukraine
This is reported by Radio Svoboda.
The criminal case is being conducted under the articles "terrorist attack", "financing of terrorism" and "support and propaganda of terrorism".
The High Prosecutor's Office in Prague clarified that official charges have not yet been announced to anyone.
Czech law enforcement officers did not provide more details. They only stressed that the current activity is not related to the case of explosions at Czech arms depots in 2014, which, as it turned out the other day, were arranged by employees of the Russian military intelligence, known for the previous abbreviation GRU.
But the case was taken up by Czech investigative journalists who had been working on the case of those explosions in the previous days. Now they have found out some details of the new case, which have not yet been officially reported.
One of them, a journalist of the online media Aktuálně.cz Lukasz Valaszek, told in an exclusive interview with Radio Liberty the details he came to know.
"From what we know, the police action was aimed at paramilitary groups that have existed in the Czech Republic for some time. In particular, the police accuse some members of these groups of organizing trips to Ukraine of some Czech citizens – either they went themselves, or organized it for others – and that, in fact, they fought there on the side of pro-Russian separatists... we can say that one of the detainees is the head of a group called "Czechoslovak reserve soldiers for peace". This is a group that emerged in 2015 and presents itself in a classic way, like a number of other pro-Russian groups in the Czech Republic, namely, it opposes NATO, the European Union and, conversely, supports Russian policy, for example, in Ukraine," the journalist said.
According to the media outlet, the head of this group named Ivan Kratokhvil is being referred to. Among the detainees is one of the leaders of the group, who is called only by the initials A. K.
Deník N media outlet reports that an Orthodox priest from the city of Litomerica in the North-West of the Czech Republic is also among the detainees. In this country, as well as in Slovakia, there is a canonical local church, the small Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, which did not fall apart after the division of Czechoslovakia into two states. This Church is known for its pro-Russian views.
In addition, another group of people – reportedly ten people – were summoned for questioning or to give explanations. So, the journalist suggests, the number of detainees may still grow.
Lukasz Valaszek drew attention to the fact that, according to reports, there is a suspicion that Czechs were incited to head to the Donbas to fight against Ukraine by employees of the Russian GRU who worked in the Czech Republic under the cover of the Russian Embassy, in particular, possibly those who were recently expelled from Prague.