According to diplomatic sources, a “structured and coordinated network of Russian propaganda” has been discovered in France. This was aimed at European countries and the US and was intended to legitimize Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, it was said on Monday.
The content of the network could potentially harm France’s ‘fundamental interests’. The network consists of at least 193 websites, the authority Viginum, which takes action against digital interference from abroad, said in a report. They didn’t produce their own content. Instead, they would redistribute massive content, mainly from accounts of Russian and pro-Russian actors on online networks, Russian news agencies, and official websites of local institutions or actors.
Cooperation against propaganda
Last weekend, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné announced a joint initiative by Germany, France and Poland against Russian disinformation campaigns. “Our three countries have fallen victim to the same destabilization strategy,” he said in an interview with newspapers from the three countries, including the “FAZ”. He cited Russian troll factories and fake news sites as examples.
There are indications of so-called sleeper operations, i.e. instruments that can be activated at any time, especially during elections. “This is intended to create confusion among citizens. (…) With the aim of building polarization that will politically destabilize our democracies,” Séjourné emphasized.
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