New Czech Intelligence Scandal
The Czech Security Information Service (BIS) is facing renewed scrutiny following recent revelations concerning senior intelligence personnel maintaining close ties to the Russian foreign spy service, the SVR.

In mid-August, news broke that three senior BIS officials headed the section responsible for monitoring and uncovering agents working for intelligence services of former Soviet republics, including the Belarusian KGB, the Ukrainian SBU and the Russian SVR. The men were once members of the former Czechoslovakian StB intelligence service. Two of the three men attended special courses in Moscow in 1989 given by what was then the Soviet KGB. This counterintelligence training not only dealt with techniques for uncovering Western agents operating in Communist-era Czechoslovakia, but also included the recruitment of potential intelligence assets from the West to work for the Soviet KGB.

The revelations have raised concerns among both Czech and Western security experts that the Czech Republic is particularly vulnerable to Russian and other post-Soviet agents who have been tasked with the recruiting of Czech nationals - particularly politicians and figures in the business community. There are mounting fears that classified NATO defence intelligence could be compromised, as well as concern that the Russian SVR is linked to a range of other illicit activities, including the laundering of cash through the purchasing of property in order to raise funds to finance other operations.