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Michael Švec

Michael Švec, Journalist

Journalist, editor of the Czech newspaper Deník N. He started in 2008 for daily Právo as a reporter focused on Russia and the post-Soviet states, then worked as an editor for the news website Aktuálně.cz. He earned a master's degree in Public and Social Policy at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University.

13 articles - Michael Švec:
The Czech Republic: Pro-Russian movements are back

The Czech Republic: Pro-Russian movements are back

The Czech Republic has been one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters ever since Russia launched its large scale of the country, in February. However, pro-Russian groups are increasingly active in the Czech Republic, and they are trying to capitalize on the population’s financial and economic worries.

Michael Švec
20 Sep 2022
How the war in Ukraine caused a rift within Central Europe’s Visegrad Group

How the war in Ukraine caused a rift within Central Europe’s Visegrad Group

The Visegrad Group (V4) acted, for years, in concert to give the populist leaders of Central European countries some levarage against the other EU countries. The war in Ukraine caused a rift within the V4, as Hungary prefered to preserve as much as possible its relationship with Russia, much to the dismay of its partners.

Michael Švec
15 Jun 2022
Memories of past aggressions made even pro-Russian Czechs take a stand against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Memories of past aggressions made even pro-Russian Czechs take a stand against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

The Czech Republic was quick to denounce Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and prime-minister Petr Fiala even took a risky trip to a besieged Kyiv, to show his support. The most surprising Czech reaction came from president Milos Zeman, a staunch pro-Russian who unequivocally condemned the invasion and asked for a firm response to Putin.

Michael Švec
30 Mar 2022
Czechia and the Ukraine crisis: the president blames the CIA, the governement prepares for the fallout of war, and the disinformation campaign heats up

Czechia and the Ukraine crisis: the president blames the CIA, the governement prepares for the fallout of war, and the disinformation campaign heats up

The threat of Russian aggression against Ukraine comes as an important test for the new Czech government of Petr Fiala – the first major international crisis it must face. It will not be easy, given that the current coalition has to share power with a pro-Russian president and is also facing a growing disinformation campaign.

Michael Švec
21 Feb 2022
Czechia: Looking for a President

Czechia: Looking for a President

With Miloš Zeman plagued by illness and only a year left of his term in office, the Czechs are already starting to look at a field of potential would be Presidents. Next year’s presidential elections may finalise a change that started with 2021 the parliamentary polls, and put Cechia ruling elite firmly back in the Western camp.

Michael Švec
20 Jan 2022
After more than three decades, the Velvet Revolution finally sees closure

After more than three decades, the Velvet Revolution finally sees closure

Three decades after the fall of communism, Vaclav Havel remains the most important symbol of the Velvet Revolution. Michael Švec writes from Prague about the days of the revolution and Havel's legacy.

Michael Švec
24 Dec 2021
After flirting with Russia, the Czech Republic is about to return to Vaclav Havel’s legacy

After flirting with Russia, the Czech Republic is about to return to Vaclav Havel’s legacy

All five members of the emerging coalition speak with one voice about the pro-Western direction of the country and the return of the policy of promoting human rights in the world.

Michael Švec
17 Nov 2021
Surprises in the Czech Republic: Together with Pirates, without Populists and Communists

Surprises in the Czech Republic: Together with Pirates, without Populists and Communists

The recent parliamentary elections have redrawn the political map in the Czech Republic. The incumbent Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has lost power, a coalition of five very diverse parties will most likely govern, and voters of the traditional left-wing parties have lost their representation entirely. The post-election situation is further complicated by the fact that President Miloš Zeman is seriously ill and, according to the hospital where he is hospitalised, is unable to exercise his powers. Prague Castle, however, is silent about Zeman's condition.

Michael Švec
21 Oct 2021
Elections in Czech Republic: The Stork Nest and the Angry Son

Elections in Czech Republic: The Stork Nest and the Angry Son

Just as the electoral campaign was beginning in the the Czech Republic, the public got a taste of a Greek tragedy when the incumbent Prime Minister, Andrej Babiš, was publicly challenged by his estranged son. The bizzare story, which involves even an alleged kidnapping of Babiš Jr. on his father’s orders, has some very real implications as it may be connected to a fraud involving European funds and a company owned by the Prime Minister.

Michael Švec
22 Sep 2021
As Czechia gets ready for elections, a complicated game unfolds between its (pro-Russian) President, the chief spy hunter and the Prime Minister

As Czechia gets ready for elections, a complicated game unfolds between its (pro-Russian) President, the chief spy hunter and the Prime Minister

The pro-Russian Czech President seems determined to get rid of the country’s head of domestic intelligence, whose job is to stop Russian spies. The intelligence chief used to be supported by the Prime Minister, but with elections looming, the latter now needs the President by his side.

Michael Švec
19 Aug 2021
Hot and dirty campaign in the Czech Republic

Hot and dirty campaign in the Czech Republic

After the warm summer, a hot autumn awaits the Czech Republic. Elections to the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament are held at the beginning of October and they could change the political landscape in the country. The current political hegemon Andrej Babiš and his ANO movement could lose their position, traditional left-wing parties – communists and social democrats – may not make it to the upcoming Chamber of Deputies and there are some new political forces, such as a party led by former anti-mafia policemen, which is growing and promising "justice".

Michael Švec
15 Jul 2021
The would be trip to Moscow and the questions left behind it

The would be trip to Moscow and the questions left behind it

The case of Vrbětice – the revelation that explosions of ammunition depots in 2014 were apparently caused by agents of the Russian military intelligence GRU – shook relations between Prague and Moscow in April. In May, there was a quake on the domestic political scene.

Michael Švec
02 Jun 2021
The chaotic Czech answer to a Russian attack on its territory

The chaotic Czech answer to a Russian attack on its territory

The Czech Republic has announced that it is expelling 18 Russian diplomats, following the sabotage of an ammunition depot by Moscow’s agents. The measure seems to have been taken without consulting all the domestic key players or Prague’s Western partners: in the days that followed, both the lack of cohesion of the state authorities and the hesitations of external partners to show solidarity were apparent.

Michael Švec
30 Apr 2021