Czech intelligence services suspected Russian intelligence of sabotage. According to the official statements of the Czech government, saboteurs from Russia blew up military depots in the city of Vrbetica in the fall of 2014. Later, information appeared that the target of the attack was not the warehouses, but their owner. Military expert Alexei Valyuzhenich named his version of events in the Czech Republic.
The diplomatic crisis between Russia and the Czech Republic continues to deepen. On Saturday, Czech authorities said Russian secret services were behind the explosions at military depots in the town of Vrbetica. The incident took place 6.5 years ago – in the fall of 2014. Then two people died, and the demining work and the elimination of the consequences of the explosion continued until 2020.
In Prague, they said that the blame for the explosions lies with the Russian special services. Among them were Russian intelligence officers known under the names Petrov and Boshirov. These characters previously appeared in the story of the poisoning in British Salisbury of ex-GRU officer Sergei Skripal.
Later, new details of the incident appeared. The secret services of the Czech Republic said that the Russian saboteurs did not initially plan to blow up military warehouses. A similar version was made by the head of the Bellingcat agency Hristo Grozev. According to him, the explosive device was supposed to detonate during the transportation of military cargo, but the explosion occurred earlier than the appointed time.
The case involves the well-known Bulgarian businessman Emelyan Gebrev, who rented the same exploded warehouse from the Czech army. According to a number of media outlets, Gebrev bought weapons in Eastern Europe and then sold them all over the world – from Ukraine to Congo.
It was this circumstance that raised questions from the military expert Alexei Valyuzhenich, who tried to guess how exactly the events developed in the Czech Republic. The expert also named a number of questions that should have been asked to those who in advance placed the blame for the incident on the Russian special services.
– Let’s start a little from afar. The remarkable Czech writer Jaroslav Hasek has an excerpt in his book about the soldier Švejk that describes this whole story. They say that in the 18th century in the Austro-Hungarian army, divisions of cats were created, which were supposed to catch mice in army warehouses. And then the cats were hanged because there was no food or uniforms in the warehouses. The author writes: Imagine the smiles exchanged between those who stole these warehouses.
And now – about the essence of Prague’s accusations. It’s no secret that the countries of Eastern Europe – former members of the Warsaw Pact – have long been selling Soviet-style weapons and ammunition to conflict zones around the world. There are a lot of investigations – by the way, from the Bulgarian journalists from the Arms Watch group. They have repeatedly published documents and other data on how the CIA and the Pentagon, through dummies, purchase Soviet-style weapons in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and then ship them to the zones of military conflicts. And one of the routes lies through Bulgaria. They are loaded onto ships and transported further to their destination.
– So you want to say that weapons and ammunition from the exploded Czech warehouses were intended to be sent to Ukraine or, say, to the conditional Syria?
– Why did I start with the story about these cats? This is a very common practice. In Bulgaria, it was introduced when the USSR and the Eastern Bloc as a whole collapsed. There are stocks of weapons, ammunition, military equipment left over from the Soviet “big brother”. They must be recycled. Observers from the United States arrive and record that the ammunition has been destroyed. And they disappear from the reporting. And then they pop up in some Congo. This is pure business.
– This is usually written about Ukraine and the endless explosions in their army depots.
– About that and speech. The only difference is that Ukrainian generals steal weapons from their army, and then blame the losses on the fire. And here, in this way, they cover the supply of weapons to other countries and various banned organizations.
As far as the Czech Republic is concerned, there is no need to go far for examples. For example, there is ample evidence that Czech-made OT-64 SKOT armored vehicles were supplied to Syrian militants. Believe it or not, they were delivered through Bulgaria. Ships with these armored cars were removed while passing through the Bosphorus. So this is a well-known scheme.
– Why did this story surface right now?
– I do not know all the undercover circumstances of world politics. But here is the situation in Ukraine, and another exacerbation between Russia and the United States. Someone is talking about the construction of a nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic, someone else is there about different circumstances. Here, probably, the main question for the investigation: why was it necessary to detonate these ammunition in warehouses in the Czech Republic, if in Ukraine it is much easier to do it?
More broadly, why blow them up at all? In order not to get into Ukraine? It’s better, on the contrary, to show them to the whole world: this is how NATO feeds the war. In general, here is the old postulate of Roman law. If you want to know who is to blame, find out who benefits from it. And rather it is beneficial to arms sellers on the side, and not Russia.