The Czech Republic expelled 18 Russian diplomats after accusing the members of Russia’s Military Intelligence agency of causing an explosion at an ammunition depot in 2014. As a result, Russia also decided to pay back and announced the expulsion of 20 Czech envoys with 24 hours deadline. The foreign ministers of the European Union have reportedly decided to schedule a meeting in order to discuss the Czech’s claims about the bomb detonation.
Czech Allegations against Russian Diplomats
The Czech Republic considered Russian diplomats guilty of exploding the depot for arms storage in a forest at Vrbětice, back in 2014.
Furthermore, Czech mentioned that it had taken European Union and Nato under confidence. It was enlightening them regarding the Russian involvement in the unspeakable act which took the lives of two innocents. Lastly, the case will be discussed more on Monday at the EU foreign ministers’ meeting.
The 2014 Vrebetice blast was big enough to destroy the windows of nearby buildings. The explosion resulted in halting the education in the schools around the doomed land as evacuation took place instantly. Furthermore, it took the lives of two workers. Their bodies were found after a month.
The US Sides with the Czech Republic against Russia
The expulsion of Russian diplomats from the Czech Republic has given the arch-rivals Russia and the United States, another reason to call each other out. Russia has already accused the Czech of expelling its diplomats after succumbing to the US pressure. Previously in 2017, Russia decided to kick out over 750 US diplomatic staff. Now, the current situation between the Russia and Czech has added fuel to the fire as The United States has decided to support the Czech’s stance against Russian diplomats. It has also forced sanctions against Russia for allegedly sabotaging the previous year’s elections, committing cybercrime, and a few other allegedly inappropriate acts.
Who are The Suspects Involved in Causing the Blast?
Czech authorities’ inquiry has led them towards Moscow and Unit 29155 of Russia’s GRU intelligence agency. As per the officials, two suspects who played an active role in blowing up the ammunition vicinity, are Alexander Mishkin and Anatoly Chepigov. They accuse that suspects are the same who were accused of murdering a former double Russian agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia in 2018 in a nerve agent attack in Amesbury UK.
The Czech police gathered the clues from the passport photos of the suspects who reportedly sent an email to Imex, the company, which was handling the depot operations. The suspects emailed that they required access to the vicinity for inspection purposes.
The Police matched the pictures of Blast suspects with the ones who committed the Salisbury poisoning crime. It helped them figure out that Ruslan Boshirov was Anatoly Chepiga, and Alexander Petrov was Alexander Mishkin. Moreover, both of the accused were GRU officers.
Reportedly, they stayed in Ostrava as they booked into accommodation near the targeted area. They prolonged their stay till October 17, 2021, and the explosion took place on October 16. On the same day, the men took leave and reached Vienna in order to take a flight to Moscow.
Lastly, after knowing many details about the criminal act performed by the defendants, the Czech has declared Russia and Russian diplomats guilty of the crime.
Even back in 2018 the United Kingdom had expelled Russian diplomats, to which Russia had issued a swift response. Later the western allies of the United Kingdom including Australia had also expelled Russian diplomats, setting the stage for more global tensions.