As China wages a public relations offensive during the coronavirus pandemic, the Czech Republic is getting special attention. Facing pushback from the Czech political establishment, which has sought to disrupt efforts to deepen ties with China, Beijing is keen to use the global crisis to claw back its influence—beginning with so-called mask diplomacy.Continue Reading

The rise of populist, nationalist governments in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia have made these countries, the Visegrad Group, the black sheep of Europe. But their capitals—Prague, Budapest, Warsaw, and Bratislava—could offer a platform from which to challenge populism at the city level. Opposition mayors now run all four cities.Continue Reading

Tatiana Horakova has an impressive résumé: As head of a Czech medical nonprofit that sends doctors to conflict zones, she negotiated the release of five Bulgarian nurses held by Muammar al-Qaddafi in Libya, traveled to Colombia with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to secure a hostage’s freedom from FARC guerrillas, and turned down three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. Not bad for someone who might not even exist.Continue Reading

This week, Czechs will head to the polls for parliamentary elections and, if things go as expected, will elect as prime minister an embattled tycoon suspected of stealing money from the European Union and of having worked with communist-era secret police. Four big factors will determine the extent to which a Babiš victory could turn the Czechs toward Moscow — or at least against liberal society.Continue Reading