Czech President Milos Zeman has blasted the US intelligence community for their claim that Russia would invade Ukraine, which so far has not materialized. This adds to their history of mispredicting crucial events, he argued in an interview published Thursday by the MF DNES newspaper.
“The first was in Iraq, where no weapons of mass destruction were found. The second was in Afghanistan, when they claimed the Taliban would never conquer Kabul. And the third is now, “ explained the president.
The politician was referring to the US justification for Saddam Hussein’s 2003 invasion of Iraq and the assessment that the US-backed National Government of Afghanistan would be able to defend itself against the Taliban movement militant after a scheduled withdrawal of foreign troops. On both counts, US intelligence got it seriously wrong.
Washington has warned for months that Russia was preparing a military invasion of Ukraine, and for weeks asserted that an attack was imminent. Some Western media went further and designated Tuesday or Wednesday this week as days when Russia could have attacked Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky, who has also expressed skepticism about the alleged Russian threat, has declared Wednesday a holiday celebrating Ukrainian national unity.
Russia has denied having aggressive plans for Ukraine since the accusations first became public in November 2021.
The Czech president said he was informed of an impending Russian attack on Ukraine based on US intelligence, and the information turned out to be false.
“I don’t ask the CIA what their sources of information are. But based on the three cases I mentioned, I doubt the quality of these sources,” he said.
He predicted that there would be no Russian-Ukrainian war, arguing that Moscow had little to gain and much to lose, should one occur. Some kind of border conflict involving Ukraine’s breakaway Donbass region could happen, but not a full-scale war, he believes.
He rejected the idea that Russia called off its aggression because of the deterrence put in place by the United States and its allies, saying he viewed such reasoning as an American attempt. “to cover up embarrassment” to be wrong again.
No evidence that Russia is behind the explosions – President
Zeman, who is considered “pro-Russian” by many observers, has repeatedly questioned allegations of aggressive intentions and malign activities by Moscow. Most notably, he publicly doubted his own country’s intelligence services, when they accused Russia of blowing up Czech ammunition depots in 2014 – allegedly to cut off clandestine arms supplies to Ukraine. Zeman said he was not shown any convincing evidence to prove this claim.