The Czech government is to set up a specialist “anti-fake news” unit as officials attempt to tackle falsehoods, predominantly about migrants, which they claim are spread by websites supported by the government of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Ivan Gabal for The Guardian advocates expelling Russian citizens convicted of peddling fake news and ejecting Moscow’s diplomats suspected of spying. “This country strived for 20 years after communism to create an open, democratic society that’s part of the west, and now we have achieved a recognised place in the free world, we’re not going to give it up for some KGB guy,” he said, referring to Putin’s past career in the Soviet intelligence services. “He is looking to break Europe up into elementary member states that compete with each other for Russian resources and influence. The risk is great. They feel we still belong to their sphere of influence. We are a bigger threat to them than Britain, because we’ve only been democratic for 25 years and we’re proof that it’s possible to transition from totalitarianism to an open society.”