The security services have revealed that Russia’s GRU military intelligence service was behind an explosion at an arms depot in Vrbetice in 2014, in which two Czechs died. The affair has had far-reaching consequences for both Czech-Russian relations and internal politics.
- Anti-Russian sentiment among Czechs will grow, building on memories of the 1968 Soviet invasion.
- Hamacek’s erratic course and departure from the CSSD’s traditional pro-Western stance will bring his party to the brink of unelectability.
- Heightened tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border will deter Western governments from a stronger response to the Vrbetice affair.