Czech PM says Russia likely behind Prague arson plot

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
2 min read

Czech police have detained a man suspected of trying to set Prague city buses on fire, the premier said Monday, adding that Russia’s involvement in orchestrating the plot was “highly probable.”

Police did not offer any details on alleged Russian links, but the Czech intelligence service BIS said on X that evidence of Russia’s involvement in sabotage across Europe was “increasingly unequivocal.”

The crime occurred on Thursday and the suspect was detained on Saturday, said Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“The attack was probably organized and financed from Russia,” Fiala told reporters, adding Russia’s involvement was “highly probable.”

Police chief Martin Vondrasek said the suspect detained in Prague was a 26-year-old foreigner.

The Denik N daily said the man from South America had spilt petrol over buses at the Prague transport company’s garage, but failed to set them on fire.

Charged with terrorism and put into pre-trial detention, the man is facing up to a life in prison if convicted, said Vondrasek.

The Czech Republic, an EU and NATO member of 10.9 million people, has provided substantial military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since it was invaded by Russia in February 2022.

It is currently leading an international initiative to buy ammunition for the Ukrainian Army outside Europe, with the first supplies due to be shipped this month.

Fiala added that several European countries including Poland and Lithuania had recently reported sabotage cases they blame on Russian spies.

Czech authorities last month blamed the APT28/Fancy Bear group with links to Russia’s military intelligence service GRU for repeated cyberattacks on local infrastructure.

Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky summoned the Russian ambassador over the case.

Other countries including neighboring Germany and Poland have complained about similar attacks.

Czech intelligence also blames the GRU for orchestrating two blasts at an eastern Czech ammunition depot in 2014.

Police shelved this case in April saying Russia had refused to cooperate on the investigation into the explosions that had killed two local workers.

Read more:

Finland says it suspects Russia of violating its airspace

Russia claims capture of southeastern Ukraine village

Kremlin says ‘attentively observing’ far-right gains in France, Europe

Top Content Trending