Final Word from Wednesday, August 4, 2021

In his first big newspaper interview, Dir. Michal Koudelka of the BIS counterintelligence agency told Lidové noviny more than a year ago that he is convinced that China's spy activities are far less of a risk for the security of the Czech Republic than Russia's: "Thanks to its economic and military power, China has much higher goals than just those in the CR." For Russia, he said, Central Europe is a destination, whereas for China it is merely a way to get to somewhere else. He warned repeatedly about Russian spies operating in the CR, esp. those engaged in obtaining unclassified information from politicians, journalists and businessmen that allows them to see the big picture at no risk. Koudelka boasted about how his agency "very strongly and clearly defends democratic principles and stands on the side of the law." Three days after the interview appeared, the Czech government declared a state of emergency and proceeded to strip citizens and residents of their human rights. Koudelka didn't issue a single word of warning to Czechs about a nefarious virus that was arriving from China on its way to conquering the world. [ Czech Republic coronavirus covid LN ]

Glossary of difficult words

to downplay - to make (something) appear less important than it really is;

to strip someone of something - to deprive someone of something; to prevent someone from having or using something;

nefarious - wicked or criminal.

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