Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Slovakia/Russia: Slovak far right allies of Putin's regime

Via Anton Shekhovtsov's blog (h/t glykosymoritis):
Over the years, in addition to engaging with far right activists and politicians in the capacity of commentators and opinion-makers, various Russian media have developed structural relations with the far right media projects in France, Italy and Austria. Recently, new data has emerged suggesting that structural relations seem to be developing between the Slovak magazine Zem a Vek and different Russian actors.

Zem a Vek is a typical conspiracy theory magazine with a focus, as Matúš Ritomský argues, on three particular themes: politics, a search for social alternatives, and a return to the nature. The magazine is openly anti-Western and pro-Russian, as well as being particularly obsessed with “exposing” the “power of Jews and Americans”, the LGBT “conspiracy”, and Slovak mainstream media slammed as “mouthpieces of Zionism, Americanism, globalism, defamation of national values, primacy of the minority rights over the majority rights, [and] multiculturalism”. While not being directly linked to Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico or his SMER party, he definitely benefits from the anti-Western and/or pro-Russian “alternative” new media, including Zem a Vek, that have mushroomed in the Slovak information space in the wake of the Russian-Ukrainian war, as they help him legitimise his non-reformist policies.
In May 2014, two editors of the magazine, Tibor Eliot Rostás and Dušan Budzák, who also directs Rádio Viva, met with Russia’s contemporary Ambassador to Slovakia Pavel Kuznetsov, and published an interview with him in the June 2014 edition of the magazine.

The editors of Zem a Vek also mentioned that they were thinking of expanding their media business and asked Kuznetsov whether they could receive any support of their endeavours from Russia. In reply, Kuznetsov said that we would be glad “to write to Moscow”, “to people who deal with these questions”, and recommend establishing contacts between Zem a Vek and “the relevant Russian structures”.

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